a whole new world

June 21st, 2019

If my dad says that the misogyny I see is merely ignorance, can I not say that they are thus ignorant of the misogyny they are exemplifying? That it is so engrained, they, and often we, cannot even see it?

My dad says I’m cherry- picking events to align with my patterns, but is that not belittling to my perspective and experience? I understand his perspective is different, but if I keep finding myself in instances where my integrity is in question, merely because I’m a woman – how can I not see patterns that then support my theory of an underlying misogyny in the world we live in? Dad says misogyny is a hatred of women, and disagrees with my meaning it to stand for the not so much hatred, but the “less than” treatment we get. For me, in my communication of the issues at hand, misogyny does mean how we, as women, are treated, valued, credited, so much less than men, by men and women alike.

I’m finding my visions of misogyny also align with a lack of confidence across females and an overconfidence in males. The misogyny I see seems to be correlated with obnoxious men and subservient women.

I find it incredibly sad that we have to have the hashtag “believe women.” Here, right now now, we have a movement about being honest and true to ourselves about our objectification, our sexual offenders, and how we cannot allow these transgressions to go on any longer, and big or small should be acknowledged because they cannot keep happening.

Yet, we have to appeal the need to actually believe us? Like, we are lying? After all this time of keeping it in, paining ourselves, we let it out, not to cure ourselves, but worsen it actually, even for those subtly connected to our lives. We have done this NOT to call attention to ourselves, but to call attention to the fact that we live in a world and culture where men dominate and women are subordinate and it has been a detriment to the greater good to live like this. We live in a world where men are more confident than women and assert themselves and women do not. It’s no one’s fault in particular, but we want it to be acknowledged that this has been the case and that we can change things. That we can speak up and both be listened to.

Monica Lewinsky didn’t call Bill Clinton a predator of any kind, but she still was blamed and the scandal named for her, only her. The blatant sexism of this was ignored. Her situation probably would have been made worse had it been of the world of the social media scene it is today, but if the #metoo movement had been around at all, she would have at least had some support, and someone to say, “He’s the president. She’s a young girl in college. None of this is her fault.” Because it wasn’t. But because misogyny was and still is real, the world will see her as the culprit, and according to my coworker, who I thought was progressive, but maybe not so much, blames her for the George W. Bush terms and the Iraqi War, so that makes me think that other people believe that, too, which is devastating.

I do think it was stupid that Bill Clinton had to have that kind of situation when many men in power have been unfaithful, even our current president, and it makes me wonder if it would have been better for him to deny it somehow, and why Monica had to come out with it, if it wasn’t assault. But Bill Clinton is fine apparently, his wife ran for president. Monica, she’s probably had a much much much harder time. How is that fair? Do we not live in the same world, today, 20 years later?

Part of feminism is understanding that women can be equally evil, but Monica was not malicious. I don’t think any of the women, or men for that matter, who have come out about their sexual assault experiences have any kind of malice, but that they want to make sure that the truth is heard. That no one has to deal with anything like that again, at least not in silence or in hiding.

Speak your truth. Own things that happened to you. Call people out for treating you like you are less than.

Also though, don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill. No, we don’t always know when a man intends to make advances, or if his actions means he wants something more. Usually, in my experiences, this is the case. BUT, there are men who are naturally very tactile and emotive, and we can start asserting ourselves to men for making us feeling uncomfortable. This movement should help us tell men to their faces that a gesture makes us uncomfortable. This movement could or could not start a stream of accusations and court cases, just because we have a voice now. Yes, men who have actually committed sexual assault and harassment should be arraigned and justly punished. But men who make you uncomfortable because they’re creepy, or dumb, or unaware, sue them if you want to. They need a good talking to, maybe many times over. So tell them like it is. This is a whole new world. But before you sue Joe Biden, think about how much more we need to do for retribution against the incumbent president. Yes, pick your battles. 

Girls and boys have not come out about their assault experience for pure terror of not being taken seriously.

I resent the people that supported Kavanaugh, and Cheryl didn’t lie about anything that happened to her, it just didn’t really matter in the end that he may have done this to her. This is the world we live in. Cheryl didn’t come forward lightly about this, she was just trying to warn the world that he isn’t the best guy to serve on the Supreme Court for life when there are better options at hand. It sucks that she wasn’t taken seriously.

I want to talk about power dynamics. I want to talk about how the movement to help bring women their voices so that there are less grey areas about when a women is comfortable or not. We need to feel empowered to speak up in any situation of discomfort instead of giving into something because the man wants us to.

No, we can’t always speak up, thus the man needs to also be educated on what is appropriate. Think about the position of power you are in compared to the women, in terms of gender roles of the world we live in, and in terms of how much more confidence men are shown to have than women, overall, in every age group.

Men will be overconfident where a women is quite less than, thus contributing to an unequal dynamic in power, regardless of the industry or situation you find yourself in.

Take this into consideration, boys, men, girls, ladies. Boys, second guess yourself and if she really wants it, ladies, let it be known if you don’t. We need to both change for things to equalise. We need to empower women and let boys be vulnerable with words instead of assertive with hands.

Even my man, my boyfriend, the most feminist of men that I’ve met, is convinced that there is fear about being “caught up” in the #metoo movement. There’s no reason for this fear if we can all be more honest about our feelings and intentions.

A whole new world means girls and women will start to have more confidence in themselves and their voices because this movement will give them the support to acknowledge the power difference and susceptibility of their nature, and give them the tools to counteract and move forward.

So, dad, when I say misogyny, maybe you’re right in that I’m wrong, it’s not a hatred of women that the world has been exuding, but I assert that I am right in that it’s a feeling of less than, felt towards women by both men and women, as evident if you look at levels of confidence and self assuredness, and the still present pay gap and lack of female representation in positions of power.

My father’s concern for the future of boys I believe is unfounded. I think having more empowered girls will only help the world and our boys be better boys.

I think women want the world to be better for everyone, I don’t think we’re trying to take over, as much as Selena Meyer (Veep) is an apt figure for a female in the day of politics that it is, she is still of a world that doesn’t exist. We are not in this whole new world quite yet. We still have some way to go. As much as my father begs to differ, we do not live in an equal world. Not until women and men feel as equally compelled to fullfil their dreams and open their minds to all the possibilities. A more equal world means everyone will be more confident in their desires and actions to go after what they want. White men have been privy to this feeling, and I don’t think it will fade for them just because women come more into their own.

No one’s abundance has to mean anyone else’s failing. There is room for all of us. Capitalism will have you believe and not believe that, all at the same time. My dad says that women have never excelled as much as they have in the present capitalist world. That may be true, but we’ve also never seen women come out of their shells as much as they have within the last century. Women are becoming more confident. We will work towards working with you, growing together, if you can fight the misogynistic tendencies this world is constantly putting on us.

Aladdin has all the confidence, even before he gets his wishes. Jasmine has the natural glamour and power, yet, isn’t allowed to have the confidence she inherently has, and the pauper must become a king for the princess to be a queen? Let us be queen and have our pauper or our princes, or none of the above. Jasmine had her cat and could have ruled the world just fine. Her dad wanted her to find a husband though. Thank god she rejected the patriarchal pressure to marry rich. 

Maybe I am the post modern feminist my dad claims I am, but I don’t see the equal world he sees, so I’ll keep fighting the good fight, until we actually do live in a whole new world.