It’s tough to be a woman. This is a mans world after all. And there has been a lot of confusion as to where the lines are drawn during this revolution. Despite the fact that the law decided 53 years ago that sexual harassment at work was a form of sex discrimination, it seems men are still confused as to why their advances in the work place is still problematic.
What seems to be the biggest misunderstanding causing the confusion is that women are not actually put on this earth purely to serve mens sexual urges and fragile egos. And, in fact, women in the work place are there to, you know, work. This confusion has lead to problems in the work place between men and women, problems in the dating world, problems in the bedroom, and problems in the courthouse.
The issues revolving around the treatment of women and the imbalance that exists in literally every social circumstance a woman is involved in that also involves a man are vast, complex, and deeply socialized so that we think it’s normal. There is no quick fix, and it won’t happen over night. But there are some hard stops that would make some drastic changes right now.
THINGS TO STOP DOING TO WOMEN NOW:
Calling Us Pet Names When You Don’t Have Permission.
Ex: Sweetheart, honey, darling, sweetie, dear, baby, etc.
It’s creepy. It’s degrading. It’s definitely not appreciated. Whatever nice thing you think you are doing, you are not doing. If you don’t want to be in the creepy category, just stick with our name.
Touching Us When You Don’t Have Permission.
This is the whole spectrum, not just rape. And this goes triple if it’s in the work place. Don’t put your hand on my shoulder, don’t put your arm around me, don’t force me into a hug, don’t stick your tongue down my throat, don’t bring your penis into the equation. If you don’t have permission to touch me, then don’t touch me. If you are too embarrassed to ask, then definitely don’t be touching anyone.
Name Calling Us When We Tell You No.
A person does not owe you anything. Their phone number, a smile, sex, oral sex, a kiss, a hug. And bullying someone for telling you No makes you an ass at best, a criminal at worst. Yes rejection hurts, but that doesn’t excuse your behavior.
Interrupting Us When We Are Speaking.
Study after study has shown that women are interrupted more than men, that men speak significantly more in meetings than women do (one study found they account for 75% of the conversation), that even when a woman speaks less they are perceived to have spoken more, and female execs are viewed as less competent when they speak more vs male execs being viewed as more competent when they speak more. It’s even said that women don’t advance in their careers beyond a certain point without learning to interrupt, but women are then often dismissed as bossy, unpleasant, and bitchy or perceived as pushy, aggressive, or assertive in the work place. What may seem like a small, thoughtless act, is actually holding women back. So shut up and wait for your turn.
Dismissing or Denying Our Claims of Sexual Misconduct.
Here are some fun facts:
–54% of rapes are not reported.
-A woman’s chance of being raped: 1 in 5.
-Percentage of rapists who are never incarcerated: 97%.
-Percentage of false claim rapes: 2-8%.
I keep wondering why, despite statistics, we still believe women lie about sexual assault. Rape is one of the most under reported crimes, and on the rare occasion it is reported there is almost never an actual punishment for it. There is absolutely no incentive to report rape. No one has event gotten rich or famous from reporting their sexual assault, and almost no justice is ever seen.
So, from now on, if a woman tells you that she has been the victim of sexual misconduct, believe her. She has no reason to lie.
Paying Us Less.
Women are still paid $.79 on the dollar that men are paid for the same work. For women of color it’s even worse. And not much is being done about it. Particularly under the current administration. We just continue to fall back on the old standards: education, homemakers, field of work. All to justify not fixing a very real problem.
I saw a tweet once that said: “Instead of paying women what we pay men, let’s just start paying men what we pay women. That wage gap will be gone!” I laugh-cried hard at that.
Imagine a world where whenever you spoke you were ignored, and in fact you were expected not to speak at all. Imagine being objectified every time you left your home. Imagine being discriminated against, under compensated, and sexualized daily all because of your gender, and in fact, your gender is used as a defense to dismiss all of it as an actual issue. Now realize that, for women, this is not an imagined world, this is reality.
It’s a major problem. And no one is doing anything about it. How are you part of the solution? Right now? Because that’s what we need. Everyone to be part of the solution. Right now.