2 months ago I wrote a MyTake (Another step forward: From walking in the shadow of men to being equals) about some of the discriminatory practices women faced around the world when it came to things like clothing choices and sexual pressures faced in the work place. Unfortunately, that was met with a lot of derision from certain sectors of this site who dismissed my article as frivolous and "first world problems". First off, I am pretty certain these are not just first world problems considering the requirements for women in some countries due to some religious beliefs that force women to completely hide themselves whether they believe in the religion or not. Second, it's super easy to say that when you are on the side trying to enforce it. This take was still getting responses as of two days ago and I fully anticipate I will get more after this one posts. For those who didn't get a chance to read or just simply didn't want to, I'd like to just post a couple of those posts in here for a moment.
"Love this first world Problems whinging whilst the Islamic World straight up stones women for getting raped. " - Ryfyle
Yeah, that's kind of the point. We want better treatment for women everywhere not just here in the US/UK. I think a lot of people tend to forget that the push for feminism is for women everywhere, not just in our immediate areas.
"I'm totally for equality and female empowerment however some of the "movements" like "me too" and " Cancel culture" go too far and it really just looks like sexism on men. For example most of my friends are girls and I commonly use the word sweetie and there's never been an issue before and then suddenly a few months ago I got harassed at a cafe I regularly go to though I usually go there at a different time and know everyone who works there at that time" - Anonymous
MeToo and cancel culture are two completely different things. MeToo was about standing up to the sexual assault and abuse both men and women faced in their lives. Cancel Culture on the other hand is mob justice unfortunately. Now, don't get me wrong, sometimes people get punished for their unacceptable behavior, but that isn't cancel culture. That is just suffering a penalty for your outlandish behavior.
Side note: Just because you and your friends are ok with it, doesn't mean everyone is. My wife and I joke around and call each other bitch as a term of endearment but that doesn't mean I am going up to the cashier at the grocery store and referring to her as one. There used to be a lot of "harmless words" that men used in the workplace that made women uncomfortable and now it just doesn't fly. If it is a cutesy nickname, just assume you should keep it to people you know and not a random stranger.
There were many more posts ranging from positive, to skeptical, to just downright rude and vulgar. So why am I bringing this up now? Well, imagine how happy I was when I ran across this little update.
For those unwilling to click the link, let me provide a cliffs note version for you. The Norwegian women's handball team took a stand against the uniforms they were forced to wear and, with an outpouring of support, the IHF changed the rules. Women are now allowed to wear tank tops and shorts like the men. Now, there is a little caveat that irks me a bit in the new rule that "female athletes must wear short tight pants with a close fit" that is not listed in the men's requirements, but hey, progress is progress. Then again, I know a lot of you are disappointed the IHF doesn't have the same tight short requirements for guys.
Now, if you weren't ready to rage before about an article about a handball uniform, let me push you the rest of the way with this next topic. Kudos to women standing up for themselves when it comes to men regulating their clothes and actually enacting change. It is time for a bigger battle when it comes to here in the US, but the rest of the world is not excluded.
There is a massive push by right wing groups to limit a woman's choice to her own body and what she can do with it. Listen, I get it. I am against abortion myself, but I am not trying to push my own beliefs on to another person by legal methods. You can be religious or have non religious reasons to be opposed and it isn't going to matter. The truth is, you can't legislate when people can have sex. You can't in good conscious legislate what someone does with their bodies unless they are a public health threat. You anti-vax people better be on board with the 'My body, my choice' train here too or stop shouting the phrase out like a verbal ward against needles. I support your right not to get it, no matter what my personal thoughts about it the same as I do for those who seek abortion.
For those of you pretending to care about the embryo/fetus, cool, donate your money and time to raising those kids. If you want to come back with "keep your legs closed", please refer back to the last paragraph about trying to legislate people having sex. For my religious friends, if you truly believe in your maker, then let them judge what happens to the women who elect to have an abortion.
If you ACTUALLY want to stop it from happening, limit the social programs that pay people to have kids. Stop letting people treat children like paychecks from the government.
In the end, the main point is this. Nobody should be making laws for what a legal adult, male or female, can do with their body. I hope more and more women stand up for themselves, even if you are against abortion, that's fine. Stand up for your own body and refuse to let the government tell you what you can and can't do with it. Right now it is abortion, but that can EASILY slip into other territories where we are being told what we are allowed or not allowed to do.
I am proud of the women who stood up against sexism in clothing restrictions. I am proud of the ones who stood up to speak out about sexual predators. I am proud of the ones standing up to defend their bodies from uninformed politicians. Finally, I am proud of the men who also stand up in support of the women in their lives who know the ramifications of allowing things like this to continue. The fight for equality comes by fighting equally together. This isn't a fight to be better than one another. It is a fight to stand side by side with one another as equals.