Putting Up as a Woman
There she is, young, innocent, naive and certainly beautiful. She is only the age of sixteen not knowing that wearing red lipstick meant that you were asking men for sex. That showing any inch of your cleavage by accident or not, meant you were a slut, a whore. That if you showed any skin above your knees meant you really want it. She was told to remain silent around men, to be passive and not put herself in business that doesn’t fit her. Slowly, her innocence started to fade as her knowledge of this sexualized world begins to grow on her. She is now eighteen years old. Innocence remains in her, but it is surely running out. Why? Because she is surrounded by not only people but images telling her what she should and shouldn’t be. Sadly, her mother was the first person to ruin her daughter’s innocence. As parents we want the best for our children. However, parents are also brainwashed to think reputation and what other people think is all that matters, making the parents destroy the child’s pure perspective of what values are for. Telling your baby girl to close her legs because you don’t want her to look like a boy or seem like a slut is actually telling her that her appearance and what other people think should be her main priority. So before you yell at her for trying to look like celebrities, remember that people look up to celebrates and she’s trying to be looked favorably upon by people. parents are the very first problem for younger generations.
In “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, the mother keeps on giving her daughter orders. “So to prevent yourself from looking like the slut i know you are so bent on becoming; this is how you iron your father’s khaki shirt…” It seems to me that the mother’s priority is appearance. In the reading “Girl” the mother in particular tells her daughter what to do and why she’s doing it, mainly because she doesn’t want her to appear or become a slut.
Now, I kept questioning why are girls being exposed to this brainwashing at such a young age? After reading “Two Ways A Woman Can Get Hurt”: ADVERTISING AND VIOLENCE” by Jean Kilbourne I realized that since the beginning the media has been changing society’s perception of what beauty is, photo-shopping women and making them insanely thin and changing their features making even the models wish they were that image. The media did start with the idea of feminism back in the 19th century. However, it also started violence against women by only displaying women’s bodies in random ads like in an alcohol ad or a car ad. Displaying only women’s bodies next to objects, leads to distancing and dehumanizing women. Thus, making rapists’ jobs much easier in court and making them feel less guilty in the field. I have questioned as a young girl why men have it easy if they make mistakes. “Boys will be boys” that’s what my mother told me when i asked her. it made me confused, frustrated and indeed angry towards myself and society.
The movie “Thelma and Louise” covers this subject about how men are not the ones to be blamed, but the women. Thelma is an obedient housewife that always follows and asks her husband for his permission. Louise is a divorced lady with a free spirit, wanting to live her life. Louise then takes thelma on a trip without even consulting her husband and the journey begins. Thelma is a naive woman who dresses very sexy and attracts men by that. She enters a bar and a man starts hitting on her and asks her to dance with him. After a while Thelma finds herself being sexually assaulted and almost raped. Louise shoots the guy and they drive off. Now, why don’t they call the cops? because rape is not a real issue here because Thelma was clearly “asking for it” because she was dressed in such a way and was dancing with him in a bar in front of everybody. However, there was such a dramatic change with Thelma’s character because she got to experience real life situations and actually be herself as an individual rather than just follow her husband.
In the end, will there ever be equality? No. Not anytime soon, because men have been dominating the world since the beginning of time. However, I do wish men would actually man up and take responsibility for their actions rather than just sweeping them under the rug or throwing it at women. Women already have so much on their plate, including boy problems. Equality begins with every individual being responsible for their actions.