After the many vast obstacles that women have faced throughout the years, I have abruptly decided to speak out on the behalf of myself and others. As I have matured and blossomed as a woman, I have discovered the daily struggle of what it means to be a woman today. For as long as I could remember, women have been fighting for political, sexual, social, economic, and personal equality to men. I, along with many other women, do not feel as if this situation is fair by any means. At only 16, I am constantly reminded of the sexual pressures put on teen girls like myself, as we look ahead to adulthood.
I would like to reach the point where I can venture out into the world, in an outfit I feel gorgeous in, and not feel like I am being looked at like a sexual object. I would like to walk home from a bar late at night, and not be frightened to encounter a man or another woman, who will take advantage of me because I am vulnerable. I would like to feel comfortable on a college campus, and not constantly worry that I will be drugged, or worse, raped. I would like to let loose and not have to worry about any of the above, but I feel like I am constantly letting my mind wander to every single potential negative outcome.
I would like to have friends of the opposite sex, who will not pressure me to engage in sexual activities with them. If I clearly didn’t ask for it, I don’t want to be informed that I was. But, the more I sit and contemplate, I have realized that these problems will constantly be apparent which is why speaking up is important. The more I try and avoid these situations from occurring, the more they seem to happen, and at times I least expect them to. Telling women to “take precautions” and essentially be responsible for if they are attacked, coerced, raped etc is a massive part of the problem of rape culture which needs to be dismantled.
“To end rape culture, we must create a consent culture.”
I strive to become my true self daily, and to not these situations affect the way I think, feel, and react. I know deep down, 2 years later, that I am more than the predicaments that I have been in. I hope for the day that I can be seen as more than just a body, who makes decisions regarding so. For this to happen, we need to keep speaking out about rape culture, the need for gender equality, and be open and honest about sexual abuse especially in relationships. We need to stress the importance of teaching consent, especially to young men, rather than focusing on telling girls what not to wear and how much not to drink to “prevent” rape.
I am still continuing to expand my horizons as a female daily. Each and every day, I feel even more confident in myself than before. I will never let any sort of objectification define who I am. I will not let my past instances define my standards. I will not let the sexualized standards of society tell me what I can and cannot wear. I am young and radiant. I have the right to wear whatever I feel comfortable in, and I hope I can inspire you to do the same. I will continue to roam free in this universe feeling safe. I will go out at night and fearlessly walk home alone.
As women, we cannot let our past scare us, as well as future situations that we are trying to avoid. We deserve to feel gorgeous and safe in our skin every single day. Do not be oppressed. Speak out and be brave for all of the women around the world who are dealing with the same exact instances as you are.
Source Description: GIRL TALK HQ (Global Headquarters of Female Empowerment News Media)