I’m not a militant feminist. I don’t hate all men or blame them, but what I do hate is how blatantly sexist things still seem to be tolerated in our society. The media will tell you that women are now “equal” and “respected”, but to me, that is still not true. Take for example, the over-frequent use of the sexist words “bitches” and “hos” (whores) These words are harmless if used in a teasing or joking way among friends (preferably women) but what pisses me off is how these words are being used in place of a woman’s name or to describe women en masse. It seems that the misogyny has spread from certain forms of music (ie. rap or heavy metal) and is now in everyday vernacular.
Many young girls today seem to be under the impression that feminism is “no longer relevant”, which frankly makes me wonder how they can be so blind, when these sexist terms are so commonplace nowadays! Years ago, for example, some idiot on the street wanted my attention so he started screaming “Hey ho!” at me over and over again! Rest assured, I was not dressed in the latest in “hooker wear”, but even if I was, it was very demeaning and hurtful. But some guys seem to think that it is o.k to call women this at their leisure. In another instance, I was having car troubles and this older man helped me out. Meanwhile, some jackass standing nearby loudly stated that “Women should not be given licences!”
Obviously these types of guys are losers, but it seems that some of their ignorant opinions and/or attitudes are spreading, particularly among younger men. From this perspective, women are no longer sisters, mothers, aunts, girlfriends or wives, but “merely bitches and hos who, as a (mal)function of their gender, are terrible drivers and should rely on a man to get around.” (Don’t believe my negative experiences with this piggish attitude, go on Youtube sometime and read the comments on videos of women driving or hosting their own videos) Macleans had an article recently on how young girls are under more pressure now than ever to be “trashy” while their mothers shake their heads and wonder what the hell happened. These girls express the attitude mentioned earlier that feminism is outdated and they think that by disrespecting themselves that they are considered equal.
Naturally, not all young girls buy into the “bimbo” thing, but it does appear that they are being groomed to not only passively accept being the target of the aforementioned “bitch” and “ho” monikers, but are pressued to spend all of their energy on their surface and not think for themselves. They are taught that they have liberty, but liberty restricted to serving as sexual objects and nothing else! We are inundated with images of women griding against idiots in rap videos or getting regular plastic surgery on reality TV. Magazines are awash with celebrities who have been morphed into cartoons with photoshop! There is apparently nothing worse than an older woman with actual wrinkles on her face, because the only good woman is a hollow immature one. Speaking of which, Twilight is another awful blight in pop culture today, with its backwards, sexist messages. It swings the extreme other direction than the over-sexualized movies and music videos. The only good woman is a pure, virginal girl who subserves all her own needs for her man, whom she follows around like a dog. Still sexism, different approach.
Now I’m not saying we are completely lost, because yes these days there are much more women in the workplace and in senior level positions, birth control is more available, and we enjoy much more liberties and are definitely less persecuted and oppressed in the western world than in many other countries. But women still earn less than their male peers and birth control is only available in certain areas. (The right for choice is also under constant threat from religious fundamentalists) Further, consider the points previously mentioned in slang and popular media. Sexism is still alive, just in more insidious forms. After all the work done by earlier feminists for women to be respected as equals, we cannot let ourselves slip backwards! The fight for equality is still needed here.
Sexist Driving ad from “Body Image vs. Reality Blog”: http://annikabodyimage.blogspot.com/