Good evening readers. Happy International Women’s Day to all the ladies out there!
This is a quote I found on social media today. I wish that it didn’t hit as close to home as it does. This quote is over forty years old and still rings true today.
As a young woman from rural Newfoundland, I have noticed this stigma that keeps sticking around of what is expected of a woman. I am in my mid twenties and I have a degree from M.U.N. I am working, not one, not two, but THREE jobs to make ends meet. I do have the boyfriend who works just as much as I do. I also am expected, by society, to do the chores around the house and cook food and run errands. My boyfriend is a large help with doing chores around the house, however, it isn’t expected of him because he is a man. The way that the home is presented doesn’t reflect him, it reflects me and my persona. It’s my fault if there is dishes or clothes left to wash or other chores that need to be completed.
I think my “favorite” (sarcasm) double standard that women have to face has to do with weight. I am a bigger girl, which I have eluded my readers to countless times, and I do have a bit of weight on my stomach. However, because I have this weight I get asked the following questions:
- How far along are you?
- When are you due?
- What do you have in there? *From a five year old girl*
- Are you having a baby? *Also, from a child*
Most of these questions have been from other women in the past. I think it has gotten to a point where women, as well as men, have to think about what image they want to portray. Other women have to stop putting each other down. Men have to stop putting women down. Women have to stop putting men down. Men have to stop putting other men down. Parents have to teach their children right from wrong, and the fact that sometimes there is a gray lining. Kids have to know that their questions are never stupid and they are just an opportunity to learn.
At the end of the day we are all people, despite our sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, nationality, etc. No one wants to be reminded about their shortcomings that perhaps they are insecure about. There has been times that my gym bag has been hung out back with every intentions to work out, or I have a healthy meal ready to eat for lunch, and these types of questions or comments really are low blows.
Perhaps I am too sensitive, but these comments really make me feel down about myself. Then I become angry at the ignorance of the people that are making them. I joke about them when they are made. For example, when the little girl pointed at my stomach and asked me what was in there I just said, “oh honey, there’s just food in there.” People look at me and say they would have been so mad if they were in my shoes. That little girl didn’t know that she perhaps said something that would have made me angry. That’s when the parent should speak up, not laugh at the remark that her daughter made, as this mother in this situation did.
Obviously, for an expecting mother, their unborn child is definitely a blessing. Perhaps these people think that because they are bringing up the baby they think they are bringing joy to the mother. I just cannot fathom how anyone can think that! If it were the other way around I question how that person would feel. How angry they would be. I have actually had expecting mothers say that they feel angry when people have to ask if they are pregnant. Sure they are, but obviously these people see a stomach and just assume.
I bite my tongue because I am in a work environment when these comments are made. I have summed it up to ignorance. That is really all I can sum it up to. Because I am in my mid twenties, am bigger, they think I am pregnant.
And don’t get me started on all the people asking me when I’m going to get married. Again, because of my age, there is a stigma that I should be trying to get married and have babies and take care of house. I have to applaud my mother for not expecting that for me. My mother always said she wanted me to succeed in life the way I want to. She never said I must meet social norms and get hitched and have children. She wanted, and still wants, more for me.
Do I want to get married and have children? My mood on the whole question changes with every passing minute. Yes, no, not now, never, later, etc. However, it is a question that I don’t have to be asked every other week. I have bigger worries than if my partner is going to propose.
So, to recap, I am not a homemaker. I am not pregnant. I am a working woman who loves food and doesn’t have lots of time to exercise or prepare a healthy diet. I love South Park. I love people, not men, not women, people. I love being an auntie to my nephews and my not so blood niece. I have an amazing partner who without I don’t know where I would be now. I speak up for equality for everyone!
It is important to see the leaps that women have made over the centuries. International women’s day gives us the opportunity to learn about what women have done for us in the past to bring us to the present and also to look at ways that we can change our future. I know that many say that I am sarcastic and I put down everyone. I perhaps am cynical with what I say and have a sarcastic tone, but when push comes to shove, I want everyone despite their background, to know that they are special and important and that they should make that their focus in how they address everyone around them.
There is definitely more that has to be done to bridge the gap for equality. I am trying to get to the point where I see people. I treat everyone with the same respect that they deserve no matter where they come from. And most definitely, I treat them with the same respect despite what is under their clothes. I think that this is most definitely the message I want to bring across with this word vomit of a rant. Treat someone as an individual rather than boxing them in a stereotype category. This could one day make all of the difference.