If I were a girl…

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I am female, so I called upon the help of my dad, little brother, my boyfriend, fellow bloggers, and my guy friends to help me. This list is just the opinions of these men and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. I asked them what would be different if they were born a girl, and these were their answers…

  • I could show emotion. Everyone I spoke to felt they had to be unemotional so they didn’t seem “weak”. But then they had to be emotional towards their partners so it’s very confusing.
  • I could wear a wide range of clothes. Men sometimes feel that compared to women, their clothes choices are very limited. Plus a lot of shops either don’t sell male clothes at all, or they have a tiny section compared to the women’s clothes.
  • Talking to children wouldn’t be seen as creepy. This point was made by one of my best friends, and when I asked everyone else they agreed. Men feel as though they are judged when around children, and that they feel as though they can’t play around children without being a “pervert”.
  • I wouldn’t feel pressured to have a 6-pack. Some people are not built to have a six pack, does this make them any less beautiful? No. But men still feel like they have to be super muscly to be considered attractive.
  • I wouldn’t worry about being threatening. A lot of men are seen as threatening, especially those that may be taller or larger. This can make situations awkward and can make men feel guilty for just existing! Which shouldn’t happen!
  • I wouldn’t be limited to playing “aggressive” sports. My little brother is 15 and is training for his black belt in Karate. But he told me that men feel like they have to play stereotypical male sports, and they would get bullied if they participated in “female” sports such as gymnastics and ballet. Although my brother loves karate, he said he shouldn’t feel like some sports are off limits just because he’s male.
  • I wouldn’t have to pay for everything. Again, this was a major concern for my little brother. He said he felt like he had to support his family when he grew up, and that when he gets a girlfriend he has to support her too. Men shouldn’t feel like they have to pay for everything. In my relationship with my boyfriend we split everything down the middle, or one of us will pay for a meal and the other will pay for the movie tickets. It shouldn’t be a mandatory thing for the man to pay for everything.
  • I wouldn’t have to be aggressive. A lot of men feel as though they have to be constantly aggressive to be considered “manly”. If there’s a fight, the man can’t back down otherwise he’s seen as weak. There’s a lot of pressure on men to protect women and to be dominant over other men.
  • I could get good grades without being a “nerd”. My brother said that if you get good grades at school, your friends tease you and call you a geek and a nerd. I think it’s sad that guys can’t be seen as intelligent without being bullied about it.
  • I wouldn’t be judged by my weight. I never thought that men were picked on for their weight, but my brother said this is a massive thing at school. Even within friend groups they get teased for being larger, and this can be really upsetting. Men should love their bodies, and should aim to be healthy not thin and muscly.
  • I could get support. A lot of men feel as though they aren’t supported by their friends, and that they can’t talk about serious things with their friends because it’s seen as being too emotional and weak. Men feel as though they need to be independent all the time, and this can lead to a lot of serious mental health issues.
  • “Gay” wouldn’t be used as an insult. A lot of men are called gay when they show emotion, and this can be so offensive to people who are gay.

These are all the points I was given, but I’d like to add one of my own. While looking for a picture for this post I typed in everything. “Male empowerment” “Male Sexism” “Sexism against men” and the only thing that came up were people mocking men. I don’t think women are any better than men, but I don;t think men are any better than women. I wish that women had equal rights to men, but I also wish that men didn’t feel ashamed to be a man. I want my brother to be proud to be a man, and I think he can do that while showing respect to women. I just wish we had true equality.

Thank you so much for reading, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic 🙂

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If I were a boy…

My boyfriend and I were discussing who had it worse, guys or girls. And this got me thinking, what would be different if I was born as a male? Here’s my list, and as ever these are my personal opinions and I’d love to hear what you think about this in the comments 🙂

If I were a boy…

  • I could be into superheroes without being judged, or told I’m just pretending to like it to get attention.
  • I could have sex without being judged. If women don’t have sex they’re frigid, a nun, a bitch, a prude. But if they do have sex they’re a slut, a whore, easy. When men have sex it’s seen as an achievement and something to shout about, but when women do it it’s seen as dirty and something they should keep private.
  • I could be dominant without being called a “bitch”. Or I could be in a position of power without everyone assuming I opened my legs to get there.
  • I can have children and a career and not get asked how I’m going to deal with both, without losing my job, and without worrying about having to go to work straight after giving birth because many companies do not give maternity leave at all (or very little).
  • Walking around at night would be nothing. I wouldn’t be afraid of being attacked because family and friends would never tell me this is a likelihood.
  • My nipples wouldn’t be illegal. Women’s nipples are not sexual. They are for feeding children. The media have made them sexualised, and anywhere that allows men to walk around topless should allow women to do the same.
  • I wouldn’t have to carry something to protect myself. There would be no need for rape whistles, pepper sprays, and keys between our fingers.
  • I could pursue a career in science without people being shocked, and without it being considered “sexy”. In fact, I could have a career in most sectors and people wouldn’t be surprised (such as motoring, aviation, business etc.).
  • Music videos wouldn’t show me as a sex object. If you look at the videos for the top 40 songs in the UK/US 90% of them feature women who are scantily clad, who have stereotypical female roles (such as a waitress), and are objects for men to look at.
  • I could wear the same clothes twice in a row and not have anyone question it, or freak out about it.
  • Shaving would be optional. Women are under so much pressure to shave every single hair from their neck downwards. Newsflash! Woman have body hair! Yet if a woman goes out with her legs and armpits unshaved she would be seen as ‘disgusting’ and ‘dirty’.
  • Getting in a taxi alone would not be frightening. Many women are worried about this, as they are constantly warned that there is a serious risk of assault.
  • Makeup wouldn’t be people’s go-to gift. Many people just assume women wear makeup, or that they should. Women should only wear makeup if it makes them happy, but there should be no pressure to.
  • My ass wouldn’t be grabbed every time I go out. Women get sexually harassed (and yes, this is sexual harassment) every time they go out to a club. It’s not okay, and it can feel very frightening.
  • Catcalling wouldn’t be an issue. Catcalling can make females feel uncomfortable, and can be threatening. Never has a woman wanted to talk/meet/sleep with the person who catcalls them, so why do it? You’re not going to get anything out of it.
  • I wouldn’t be seen as weak. A lot of women feel as though men automatically consider them weak and this can feel intimidating and frustrating at times.
  • Going to the gym would involve less sexual harassment. Just because a woman is at the gym does not mean she wants you to comment on how sexy she looks and what you would like to do to her. Also, if you’re going to take the piss about her lifting weights you should shut your mouth.
  • I could do my job without being stereotyped. Yes, women work as delivery drivers too. We get it, you’re shocked, there’s no need to repeatedly tell me and laugh about it.
  • The products aimed at me wouldn’t all be pink. Pink clothes, pink shoes, pink razors, pink towels, pink barbie dolls, pink phone cases, pink glue sticks! You name it, if it’s marketed at women it’s going to be pink.
  • I wouldn’t be judged on my body weight. As a women, everyone has an opinion on your body weight. If you’re slim you’re anorexic, you need to eat a salad, you’re ugly. (Calling anyone anorexic because they are slim is very offensive to them, and to those with this mental condition) But if you’re curvier you’re fat, you need to stop eating McDonald’s, you’re ugly. Women cannot win!
  • I could get drunk without fear of assault. Women are repeatedly warned that when they go out they must cover their drinks, never leave their drinks alone, never go out alone, always carry a phone with you etc.
  • My hairstyle/colour wouldn’t impact my daily life. Because women should always have long hair, and if they don’t they’re automatically a lesbian. Yeah, that’s not how sexuality works! Plus, just because a woman is blonde does not mean she is dumb.
  • I could fit my hand in my pocket. Men’s trousers can fit a phone, keys, wallet, ÂŁ30 in loose change, a bottle of beer, and a laptop. Yet I know there are women reading this who can’t fit their little finger into their pockets, or worse, their clothes have fake pockets or no pockets at all!
  • I wouldn’t be judged on my food order. If a woman orders a ton of food they get looked at like they’re a pig. But then again, if they order a salad they’re “skinny bitches”. Again, women can’t win!
  • There would be no periods.  For my male readers, having a period is like someone scraping your inside with a teaspoon then putting the contents in your underwear, which is accompanied by pain, feeling sick, having a headache, being hormonal, hungry, bloated, and emotional for a week and then having to act as normal. Not fun.

And that’s it, of course there are so many more but I don’t want to bore you guys! However, if anyone reading this would like to add anything to this list or to give their opinions I’d love to hear it. And I will be doing an “If I were a girl…” post soon so if any of you have any ideas for that I’d love to hear them. Thank you for reading 🙂

Was she asking for it?

My friend recently told me about a project on Tumblr called But What Was She Wearing. This site shows the outifits women were wearing when they were catcalled, harassed, or sexually assaulted. I love this idea because I think it highlights the fact that not all women who are harassed are dressed “provocatively”. (Now I know that men get sexually harassed and assaulted, and this should not happen and it is as serious as when a female is sexually assaulted and should be treated as such, but this post will just be focused on women because that is something I can personally relate to).

I don’t feel that as a female I should have to cover up every inch of my skin to protect myself. I agree that both women and men should dress appropriately. So if you’re at school you shouldn’t wear skirts that show off your ass, and you shouldn’t wear your shirt so unbuttoned that your boobs fall out. But if you’re going clubbing you can be a bit more liberal, and if you want to wear a mini skirt or a crop top then that’s your right. No female (or male) deserves to be harassed or sexually assaulted. And no one is ever “asking for it”.

Back to my original point. But What Was She Wearing shows that sexual harassment can happen to females of any age, race, religion etc. and that it a part of our everyday lives. I clicked on a random image and this is what I saw…

Was she asking for it?

This woman was at a concert and a man grabbed her and touched her sexually, he then dragged her away from the crowd while she screamed for help. Guess how many people rushed to her aid? Yeah, none. This makes me so damn angry!

I went to a party to celebrate finishing college, I was there with my boyfriend and classmates and all my teachers. I had an amazing night, but I was only 17 so I couldn’t drink and I’m glad I remained sober the whole night. And for those of you who say I was asking for it because I was in the pub very late. Fuck off. The owner of the pub, the bartenders, and the security knew my age and they knew I was there for the college party and they were happy to make an exception for this one night as long as I didn’t drink. From when we arrived at 5:30pm to when we left at 11pm I had to deal with six different men:

  • The first one asked if I wanted to do some shots, I said no thanks and he replied with “Whatever, slut”.
  • The second was okay and he just said hello, so I said hi back. He then came to sit down next to me, but I made an excuse and left. The reason I felt uncomfortable was because he was very clearly drunk and must have been at least twice my age. Now I am one of those people who have a baby face, and I could quite easily pass for a 15 year old so he knew I was very young.
  • I got up to dance and mid-way through a song I look over and there was two guys standing in the corner watching me. One of them licked their lips and the other waved at me and mouthed “Come here”. I shook my head and went to move to the other side of the floor, so the guy who licked his lips put his middle finger up at me and the other yelled “You’re missing out!” across the whole pub and motioned to his penis. Now this really upset me so I spoke to the security guard who went over to talk to them. They left 5 minutes later.
  • Then I was dancing again and a guy grabbed my hand and started trying to dance with me, so I pulled away from him and one of my guy friends stood in front of me and him.
  • Lastly, I was sitting down and a guy offers to buy me a drink. I say no thanks and point at my lemonade. He then stands up and stands over me which I found really intimidating. But just at that moment my boyfriend comes back from the toilets and the guy left.

Now, these incidents didn’t ruin the night for me because I expected things like this to happen. I find that a shame, that as a young female I go out and expect to be harassed. I am repeatedly warned by my parents, family, and friends to never leave my drink unattended, to never get in a taxi you haven’t booked yourself, to always go out with friends and preferably at least one male friend. I was with my boyfriend for 99% of the night, and all of these happened when I was without him. But maybe I was asking for it? Maybe I was dressed too “provocatively” and these men just couldn’t control themselves? This is the outfit that I wore that night:

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Was I asking for it?

That’s right ladies and gents, I was wearing a summer dress, leggings, and black flats. Now I’m looking at the picture I can see how unbelievably sexy that is, I mean come on I can barely control myself. I didn’t make this post to say all men are perverts who like to sexually assault women, because that is not true. But there are a lot of men out there who do this, and I want to bring awareness to how common everyday sexism is. I want to be able to go out without fear that a guy will put drugs in my drink, I want to be able to go out and get in a taxi by myself without being scared the driver is going to assault me, I just want to be able to walk down the street without feeling scared of men walking towards me, and to not feel like I’m just a place to store someone’s dick.

I have an extensive history with sexual assault. That is something I refuse to elaborate about in this blog, maybe someday I’ll talk about it. But not now. I’m not telling you so that I get sympathy, because I don’t deserve it. I just want you to know so you can be respectful in the comments and so that you are aware that this is a subject very close to my heart. And although my situation has improved, I am still subjected to everyday sexual harassment which I am sure many of you reading this have been through too. This shouldn’t happen. This is not okay.