Respect Isn’t Just for Losers

When I think of words that describe myself I don’t usually reach for feminist. But recently I’ve been engaging with people and circumstances that emphasize how important it is to stand up for myself and to demand respect as a woman.

Feminist: the person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.

-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

My friend and I sat down together and came up with a list of ways we can be more responsible and smart when we go out with guys, in order to protect ourselves emotionally and physically. And that right there pisses me off. Why don’t guys come up with lists of how they can treat women respectfully by looking out for their well-being and not assume we’re there so they can get some?

Our list included things like, if I have to say stop more than once I’m out and don’t be afraid to be rude. Why are we so worried about placating the guy? Why aren’t they worrying about making us feel safe and comfortable around them? I’m not a bitch because I don’t want what you want. I’m not lame if I don’t feel comfortable getting in your car. If I don’t feel safe with you, that’s your problem, not mine.

My friend pointed out that a night where her and her significant other watch tv with intermittent make-out breaks and maybe some ice cream at the end is much more of a turn on than a night where she has to continually swat his hand away from her chest and reject his advances.

Forget your balls and grow a pair of tits
It’s hard, it’s hard, it’s hard out here for a bitch.

-Lily Allen

Why is there pressure on the woman and not the man?

Feminism to me means that I am not a doormat. I have value as a woman and that means you need to respect my decisions. If I don’t want you to touch me like that, don’t. If I make it clear that I’m in a relationship, don’t think I’m just playing hard to get. I’m not a joke, my body is not a game.

The most important thing my friend and I took away from our list was that we have the power and the right to self-expression and everyone else can go fuck themselves. Never let anyone make you feel less than you are.

You are not a bitch, you are fabulous.

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