Monday, 10 October 2016

A disappointed woman

I regularly feel as if my head will explode as I observe how women are still being treated and judged, and today - after watching the latest Bridgett Jones’ movie with a friend this morning, seeing the predictable and "happy" ending where she has no job, but has the man and the baby so obviously, what more could/should a woman want? - feel motivated to write something that I've written before, and no doubt will write again.

I am fed up that leaders of nations and those who aspire to be leaders of nations can only see women as sexual beings, or in the context of their relationships with men (as wives, daughters or mothers), rather than as real, conscious, responsible, intelligent, contributing and equal human beings

I am furious that so many men only feel personally offended by poor treatment or attitudes towards women if they think that their “wives and daughters” might be treated badly, but didn’t feel any concerns or were not motivated to do anything about it previously when their wives and daughters or all the other women around the world were and are still denied the right to make decisions about education, or family building, or their own bodies.

I am overwhelmed with frustration at the fact that women are still criticised for sounding strident or aggressive when a man will be called strong, that their ideas, thoughts, and voices are dismissed until a man comes up with the same idea, that their diplomacy or tact is seen as a weakness, and that these are all injustices that I have endured, and that I have seen my female family and friends endure.


I want all girls and young women (including but not only my nieces and daughters of my friends) to grow up and inhabit a world in which they are seen as individuals, not as extensions of men as wives and daughters and sisters and mothers, and not as women whose value is determined by their size and shape, their looks, or their behaviour that has to conform to a different standard than that of the men around them.

I want all girls and young women (including but not only my nieces and daughters of my friends), to have outstanding role models of both genders who are respected and fairly treated and free of judgement and harassment and stereotypes, and to grow up knowing that they are free to choose their own paths in the world, in their everyday lives, and private lives.

And I want all boys and young men (including but not only my nephews and sons of my friends) to see women as individuals in their own right, to respect and treat them fairly, never to judge and harass and impose their will or ignore their voices, to be confident enough in their own skin to never put a woman or girl down because of their gender, to see their friends and colleagues and family and community members who are women as equal as their friends and colleagues and family and community members who happen to be men.


Thirty years ago, I was a new graduate, a young feminist, who was full of hope that all this would and must become a thing of the past, and now I am a jaded, tired and disappointed woman, but still, and always, a feminist.



Cross-posting this on A Separate Life

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing. This is such an incredibly frustrating topic.

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  2. Oh, yes, YES. Yes to all of this. That all of this is still something we need to discuss is incredibly frustrating. And ugh, to Bridget Jones. I will not see that ilk. And to have it revert to such antiquated ideas of womanhood on top of everything else? EW. What a powerful post that needs to be heard. I am a feminist, too.

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  3. Right there every word and emotion, Mali. Thanks for articulating so well!

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  4. Yes. (and I do hope you manage to avoid anything to do with that male presidential candidate. but if that is hard in dutch newspapers I'm afraid it is even harder in NZ news.)

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  5. Someone else wrote a post about this movie and how Hollywood chickened out by making this movie with a story line that was completely opposite of the third book in this series (think it was Loribeth). Regardless, I refuse to see it for all the reasons you state. Trumps recorded commentary for Access Hollywood in 2005 illustrates this even more.

    We are all more than the color of our skin, our religious beliefs and even our gender. In fact, these things add to who we are; we are not limited by them. And it's time our leaders embrace and promote that.

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  6. Thank you for writing this!

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  7. Standing up and applauding. Do you hear that noise? That's me clapping my heart out over in the US.

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  8. Having spent a good chunk of my weekend in the company of strong, intelligent, gracefilled women by way of videos and essays, I too am am delivering an ovation.

    Thank you for this post.

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  9. I agree. With every single word. Thank you, Mali!

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  10. Yes to every single word of this!

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  11. Yes!
    //I am a jaded, tired and disappointed woman, but still, and always, a feminist.// Speaks for me too.

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  12. Well said. It annoys me so much too how some men only get bothered by rape culture once they have a daughter. Why is it so impossible for them to just have some empathy for other human beings?

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  13. I personally feel overwhelmed if I focus only on what is wrong with "society." And what is this society exactly and how is it responsible for me and how am I responsible for it? I prefer to look at segments of society, or families, or even my own individual life or that of others and ask: "What is being done RIGHT here?" I find that so much more helpful and encouraging than fixing my attention on the wrong.

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  14. Hear hear, Mali!! :) I am hoping you saw Michelle Obama's speech later in the week. One for the ages. :)

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