A friendly resource for women who want to lead better lives

Abuse, humiliation, violence…how much can we take?

I have become so enraged about the recurring violence against women that I cannot go one more day without writing about it. Allow me to vent.

I am tired of school dress codes only for girls, and of parents who think it is OK to let their children wear shirts with sayings that have obvious sexual or sexist undertones. I am tired of the boys who routinely snapped the back of our bras, spotting them under our shirts, in seventh grade, and lifted our uniform skirts until most girls decided to wear boxer shorts underneath. I am tired of the teachers who saw this happening during recess but never said or did anything to stop it, and of the principal who made us girls kneel on the floor to ensure our skirts were long enough to reach the floor.

I am fed up with the type of college guy who had never spoken to me, but spread rumors about my sexual life, and of the girls who listened and didn’t stand up for me even though they knew them to be false. I am grateful for kind men, because it was another guy who told me what was being said so that I could defend myself; which I did.

I am sick of reading about another case of high school students sexually abusing their classmates while they are drunk. And of the boys and girls who watch and share the images as entertainment. My skin curls when I read news about the horrendous gang rape in India or the decade-long abduction and rape of three women in Ohio. I am furious with the women who falsely accuse men of date rape, because it can ruin a young man’s life, and when it really happens, women are not believed.

I am perplexed by the mixed messages that we send to young men and women, making them think that getting drunk and being sexually active is the best way to have fun. Why wouldn’t they think this? This behaviour is glorified in almost every song and movie, and I know more than one parent who thinks it is OK to be intoxicated in front of their children.

I am saddened when I see smart young women wearing very short shorts to go to class, so short I can see their rear; not because they are attracting the wrong kind of attention from men, but because they must think this is the way to dress to get any kind of attention, and because we all know they have to be terribly uncomfortable.

I cannot understand why talented entertainers think that wearing very little clothing and sexualizing every move they make is appropriate or even considered entertainment.

I don’t want to see any more little girls wearing bikinis, nor little boys with t-shirts with “stud” written on them; one tells our girls that at the pool, at the beach or at a school field day they are expected to look cute, not be active and have a good time, the other tells boys that they should aspire to be with as many women as possible.

I am baffled by the women who have told me that my husband won’t look at me the same way after being present during the natural birth of our child. I personally cannot think of a better way to be seen by my husband than as the mother of his children. I am amazed that we accept the name and some want to become MILFs; yet mothers breastfeeding their babies in public without a cover somehow offend people.

I regret that I am thinking twice about posting this because I worry that someone will hold it against me and hurt me or my family. I am sickened by the fact that when it comes to humiliating women, and also men who are gay or suspected of being gay, the weapon of choice is sexual abuse, whether it is physical or verbal; and that it is not just men who do it.

I am hopeful that one day we won’t have to even think about this. That we learn to respect ourselves and each other.

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