This is the 21st century and women are somehow still being undermined all over the world. Incredible, isn’t it? But what is the problem? What is making this cycle continue through all the years of fighting for women’s rights and increasing respect for women? Well, I have a theory.
The other day I was playfully fighting with my little brother. I had him locked down and told him he should give up. He told me he couldn’t because it was humiliating to lose to a girl. Of course, this is cliche and we hear it often. However, he also said that I couldn’t win because I was supposed to be weak. Then something clicked in my head. He’s just a child. He couldn’t have just imagined up this idea that …
I’ve been waiting all year for Sunday Night Football. Well, actually, I’ve been waiting all year for the first two minutes of Sunday Night Football. As a diehard Faith Hill fan, I’ve been waiting patiently to see her in the new opening all summer. Since I missed the game on Sunday I watched it on YouTube the next morning and noticed that the new opening is slightly different than the ones in the past five years. Faith Hill is still wearing something stylish and sexy and singing almost the same words, but the song’s been amped up and sounds much more Rock and Roll than the previous catchy country-pop sound of previous years.
Looking at the YouTube comments, I expected to see people lament …
What issue is ever quite as controversial as sex? How to have it, why to have it, who’s having it, who shouldn’t be, what should happen afterwards. Sex is always divisive to begin with; it’s one of the basic things necessary for the survival of the human race, and it’s also considered one of the foremost pleasures in this life. Every culture, society, and religion has specific rules pertaining to it. It can make or break careers, reputations, and relationships; it can be a bargaining tool, a reward, or a trap; people do stupid things for it; abstaining from it is a big deal.
Let’s put it this way: human beings are obsessed with sex. Really, really obsessed with sex.
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Recently, I was taking a course on linguistics, and we were discussing syntax. My professor asked the class-- a room of roughly a hundred English students, mostly female-- what pronoun to use when replacing the noun ‘boss’. It wasn’t a very serious question, but the response made him stop in his tracks. Over half the class had casually, but eagerly, called out ‘he’. It wasn’t until my astonished professor eyed us that everyone realised what they had said: that they had confirmed something we all thought to have been a thing of the past. There were nervous giggles and some shocked faces, including my own, because what’s so horrific is that I hadn’t realized it either.
A friend of mine recently created a zine about the slut/stud double standard for a electives course called Feminisms that she’s taking. She included various fairy-tale-esque ads she found in magazines depicting women as love-obsessed. Watching her make her zine got me thinking about the image we always see of women as relationship-focused and emotional. Specifically, it got me thinking about the way we’re generally told girls and boys view random hook-ups, and I began to question whether those views are as widespread as we’ve been led to believe.
Remember the movie He’s Just Not That Into You? For those of you who missed it, the basic premise of this highbrow film (read: crappy rom-com) is that women and girls make up all kinds of excuses to rationalize men’s jerky behavior. According to He’s Just Not That Into You, we come up with justifications when a guy doesn’t call us, ignores us, or just treats us generally badly.
Apparently, we all need to realize that, upsetting as it is, he’s just not that into us. I agree. If someone is treating you badly, chances are they aren’t worth your time. But I have one issue.Movies like He’s Just Not That Into You and nearly every other rom-com in existence (save, maybe 500 Days of Summer) tell us that men often act like jerks and sometimes act nice. They usually tell us to find the nice guys, but they never address the fact that women also act like jerks, and sometimes she’s just not that into you.
“Let me buy you dinner,” he said with a smile. He looked at me with confidence. He was close to me in age, and handsome. His actions were presumably innocent. On the surface, there was no reason for me to refuse. He thought he was simply asking me on a date, but it implied a deeper meaning.
He didn’t phrase his proposal as a question, but I still had a choice. I could say yes and smile endearingly; I could take the sandwich he wanted to buy me and thank him for his generosity. But I knew that if I wanted to live with myself, the answer would be no. I could not carry on as a hypocrite. I could not relinquish my self-respect for a sandwich.
Take a minute and think about how beautiful breasts are. They feed babies, they provide immense sexual pleasure, and look nice! And yet we see breasts as shameful and are socially and legally forced to cover them (there are actually only two states in which it is legal to expose your breasts publically). Women who do show their breasts are either shamed or sexualized. Others take it upon themselves to tell her to cover herself up or to try and sexually harass her. Is this really what we want for ourselves, our bodies and personal freedom?
I believe that women should be held to the same standards as men in all aspects of life, and breasts are no exception. Men are free to expose …