Monday, February 18, 2013

Equal Rights ≠ Equal Treatment

      I once got asked out on a date by a guy everyday for two solid months. Every day I turned him down and explained that I was not interested in him. Without fail the next day after class he would ask me out again. And when I finally lost my cool because he wouldn't leave me alone and told that we would never ever go on a date (like ever) you know what I got called? A slut. Also a tease. And a few other words that were thrown at me that had nothing to do with my behaviour at all. Because the entire time I had not been rude to him, led him on, or done anything that would allow him to call me a slut, which even if I had he still wouldn't have had the right. But guess what happened the next day? He asked me out again. In front of an audience, which meant he played on my sympathies to get me to finally see a movie with him, knowing full well that I wouldn't turn him down in front of a large crowd because normally, public humiliation is not my thing. 
      Was he in the right? No, not at all. And if our roles had been reversed, I would be labeled as the creepiest female to ever walk the streets of Omak. Because if guys obsess over a female and refuse to take a hint and move on it's romantic and cute because they persevere and in the end they will be rewarded with a female of their choosing, because men don't have to actually deserve to have a female companion in their life or even necessarily need to woo women, they just get them because they are men and that's way it works, right? Oh. Wait. That's not how it works and it makes most of them pretty angry once they realize that women, contrary to movies and television endings, are not prizes that one acquires for being manly. Women are people too! (gasp. faint. fetch smelling salts etc.)     Now I know that women have equal rights as men and such, but lets just walk out on a limb and define equal rights as "equal rights". Because women can hold the same jobs as men, major in the same things and have the same rights and freedoms, but we aren't treated the same way, not at all. When I tell people I'm majoring in English the phrase "M R S degree" is mentioned in the conversation at least once, unless I'm talking to a fellow English major or someone with half a brain. If a man majors in English he is poetic, more attractive because he is insightful, yada yada yada. A woman can be a hairdresser, but if a man is a hairdresser, or a stylist, or in the fashion journalism industry (all things stereotypically feminine) he is more likely to rise to the top and be more successful than a woman in the same industry, with the same (and sometimes maybe even better abilities) and get paid more than said woman. 
Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan
     On a semi-related note: his success will have nothing to do with how attractive or unattractive he is. I can feel people rolling their eyes at this sentence (and maybe even this entire post) as I type it. Seriously guys, stop rolling your eyes, it is rude. But I'm not joking. People (people meaning mostly men but also a large group of women and I'm not saying I don't occasionally do this either) tend to decide whether or not a woman is capable of a job based on how she looks. Is that right? No. The only field of work that I'm aware of that depends on its employees being attractive is the fashion industry and then again, only the people in front of the camera need to be hot (excuse me - haute). NOT I repeat NOT in other fields of work such as law, and honestly I don't care what oh, let's say the Supreme Court Justice looks like, but apparently some folks on the internet really don't think Elena Kagan is worthy of her job just because in their opinion "This person is so disgusting and I would never trust it's opinion on anything".  Because apparently, the way a woman looks is a tell tale sign of whether or not one can trust her. I'm not just talking about jobs in the corporate or law or medical fields either. Men who are less than attractive (I'm looking at you, Mick Jagger) can become famous. Females have to be drop dead gorgeous and ready to grace the cover of a magazine at any moment or its a no go for the whole fame thing (and then again they aren't pretty enough but I'll talk about that later). Overweight male actors get to have story lines free of anything to do with their weight (think Josh from Drake and Josh).  Larger female actors don't get the same treatment. As soon as they hit the screen the self depreciating humour begins. Think Rebel Wilson's "Fat Amy" from Pitch Perfect and Melissa McCarthy's "Megan" from Bridesmaids. 
        As far as I've been able to tell, in the past 19 years of my life women have gotten equal rights, but are still looking for equal treatment. I sick of the whole "but you're the fairer/gentler sex" argument and stuff like that. Seriously? We give birth, which causes pain so traumatic that we can't actually remember how bad the pain was because the brain won't allow us to. The only way men will EVER feel that amount of pain is if they get shot. Fairer/gentler sex my foot. I'm tired of all the excuses regarding why men get decide whether or not I can have an abortion or get birth control. Why are men making those decisions? Seriously? Are they THAT worried about not being able to produce heirs? Oh wait, this isn't the dark ages anymore. I'm tired of being told that I can do anything that I want with my life in any career path but hearing the unspoken phrase "you'll never make as much as a man" because even if I get a Bachelor's or a Master's degree, I would still make the same amount of money as a man who is one degree level behind me. Lovely. 
     I mean honestly, there's a reason that women used to write under male pen names. Because whatever comes from the hands of a woman is bound to be silly and romantic. I'm tired of women's achievements being boiled down to their sexuality and appearance when in reality we're just a big group of bad-asses with boobs. I mean, take Cleopatra for instance. Everyone talks about how she was an intense seductress and only recognize her for how much time she spent between the sheets, but in reality, she was actually a great ruler who controlled Egypt, most of the Mediterranean coast, and one of the largest fortunes in the world. But why is she remembered by her sex life if she was so awesome? Because she's a woman. 
    Men and women alike need to start giving women equal treatment. Men need to stop looking at the things women do as inadequate compared to their work and women need to stop viewing themselves as inadequate because they leave the load of malarkey that "its a man's world". The world is anyone's for the taking, and women need only be given a chance to prove that they are every bit as good as men and can do just as good at any particularly job as men can, and usually in heels. Cliche's aside, I'm actually quite serious. We have lived in this world with the mentality (even if its purely subconscious) that women are second rate. Let's all work together to create a world where everyone is given the same rights AND treatment, not just either/or. 


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