Hello readers. I guess it’s a fair comment if you feel that I’m becoming a bit more politically charged recently. Well, it’s not hard to. So much is going on around us that it’s difficult to ignore the political climate that we are currently living in. Today (21 January 2017) marked the Women’s March on Washington. The WMoW protested Donald Trump as President, showing how women are unafraid to speak their mind and flex their constitutional right to free speech in order to attack where it matters. To see such a conglomerate of women from all walks of life and backgrounds all uniting under one common ground continues to warm my heart. In a time of assumed strife worldwide, witnessing placards ablaze on my social media of women going out and making their voice heard is incredible to see. I know it’s 2017, this shouldn’t need to happen. The world should act and allow all sexes to be whatever they want to be and grow into the person they’ve always dreamed of being. Today’s felt like one of those days in history which you’ll grow up and tell the grandchildren where you were.
Granted, I didn’t go out and march. This immediately puts me at a lower peg than the millions of women who did. The snow in my town was knee-deep and I am currently struggling to get anywhere on my campus. The roads are treacherous and I did not want to compromise my safety. Again, I know this seems like a selfish act when you consider the industries which are constantly exploiting women… yet, I don’t believe this to be a choice which means I should be silenced.
In 2015, I was subject to the centre of a politically charged debate. I went to an episode of Free Speech in Hackney, London as part of a series before the 2015 election. Being a fresher who was angry at the level of tuition fees as well as other matters, I was intrigued to go to a political debate. I’m so glad I went. The event itself opened my eyes to a variety of attitudes that prevail and exist within the young public of British society. It also got me in a very heated Twitter debate with (the worst ‘celebrity’ in the United Kingdom) Luisa Zissman, but that’s another story…
At the event, we were encouraged to write an issue which we had with UK society on a whiteboard. I put “WHY IS BEING A WOMAN STILL SECOND BEST IN POLITICS” and received a social media backlash for it. As an 18 year old, I was upset with the differing levels of treatment of men and women in Parliament. Women are judged on their outfits, men on their policies. Men are the strong characters, whereas women make the wrong choices and OOH LOOK her’s hair greying, is she up to the job? I’m sick of the constant bombardment in the media that women should be seen as second best. If you want to check out the Facebook post, check it out here.
Reading the comments nearly 3 years on, I’m in shock and disbelief at some of the misogynistic comments headed my way. From people blaming it on the ‘menstrual cycle’ to “You have the babies. Men like politics a bit more. That’s all”, middle aged men on Facebook were hitting me with comments on Facebook. It was a constant bashing of how women are not second best, using the example of Margaret Thatcher. However, taking a look at the media in the present day teaches us one thing; women are not as strong as men.
Popular culture and the mass media has encouraged a climate of female hypersexuality, something which has come to be expected of women. GOD FORBID finding a woman who’s frigid! GOD FORBID seeing a woman wearing a trouser suit! Hillary Clinton’s infamous outfit of choice has come to be mocked, deflattering her feminine qualities. Isn’t my message still clear? Women are so obviously treated as second best in politics. The recent election in America confirms this. The silent majority voted for Trump. Even though I don’t want Trump to fail for the fear that America will tumble to the worst state the nation will ever face, it’s shocking how women are treated.
The coverage of Michelle Obama by NBC focused on the outfits during her tenure… ooh, didn’t Melania wear a lovely blue outfit… look at Hillary wearing her rain poncho. I’m done. STOP judging women on the surface; the idea that women are second best will never degrade if this is the way women are constantly treated.
The Women’s Marches across the world have proved one thing. Many people are fed up and want change. They’re done with the constant shit and they want a better life for themselves, those around them and future generations to come. Even though I didn’t march, I’m there in solidarity.
Raise your fists, sisters. We’ve got this.