We live in a patriarcal society where men have all the power and some take advantage of it. Women are still heavily discriminated against, criticized and abused, and they don't dare talk about it out of fear of being accused of telling lies. When you are a woman, freedom has a price. There are rules of conduct to be respected, outfits to be avoided, otherwise one is stigmatized.
In most cases, women are held responsible for the assaults of which they are the actual victims. For too long, women have remained silent, ravaged by shame, while their tormentors have been free.
How can the conditions of women be improved in a society that is largely male-dominated?
It will be a long struggle, but it is a cause worth fighting for.
It must be noted that in 2020, women are still victims of sexism, street harassment, violence, rape, and many other abuses for which they no longer dare to file a complaint.
To try to understand why women are subject to these abuses, we must go back in time.
At the time, the role of a woman was limited to taking care of her children and her household, and the role of the man was to provide for his family. One gets the impression that this image of the woman was frozen in time and that society constantly reflects this image of mother and housewife back to women .This is how, from the outset, roles were assigned and tasks were well defined. As the years went by, these dictates became standardized. It became increasingly difficult to change mentalities. The differences between men and women in the old days are, on the one hand, the origin of today's abuses.
There are several cases where women are treated unfairly compared to men:
Wage gap in the workplace
There is evidence that there is still a considerable gap between the median wages of men and women. According to UN Women Globally, women's wages are still 23 per cent lower than those earned by men. The fact is that for some companies, even if they don't say it out loud, hiring a man is more advantageous because in this case there is no concern about maternity leave or career breaks. It's quite unfair to think this way, because if it wasn't for their women, many men would not be able to be that efficient in their respective jobs.
Many women are real pillars for their families, some choose to sacrifice their professional careers to be able to devote themselves entirely to their children, for example.
How many men make this choice? Not many.
Perhaps if women had more support in managing their family lives, there would be more women in positions of responsibility. Still, it is unfair not to offer the same job opportunities to women just because they are women,with all that it implies.
According to the Plan International Survey, 91 percent of girls and 28 percent of boys aged 15 to 24 had experienced gender-based harassment. These figures are alarming.
As a young girl, going to school or to work without being harassed on the street is a real struggle.
STORYTIME: I remember the first time I realized that street harassment was far from being a figment of a woman's imagination. I was 19 years old, I was just walking when I saw a strange young man from afar. So I slightly modified my path to avoid coming face to face with this guy who wasn’t trustworthy. But it was a waste of time because he had already noticed me and so he started shouting at me "Miss, Miss!" I turned a deaf ear and continued walking but this young man followed me and became more and more violent in his remarks. His frustration made him lose his mind and I didn't feel safe anymore, I started rushing but suddenly this individual took me by the arm and shouted "But, I'm talking to you! Who do you think you are?" I kept my cool, I said "Let go of me! " with firmness, while withdrawing my arm. I wanted to show him that although I was a woman, I was not an object! Seeing this strength of character, he let me go without saying anything. I may have been strong, but deep inside I was afraid.
I understood from that day on, that we had to fight against this street harassment that we still take a little too lightly, but which in certain situations has turned into a tragedy.
Young boys should be taught from an early age that a girl is not necessarily weaker than a boy. They should also be taught the notion of consent and, above all, not to objectify a girl.
The notion of consent
This notion is still unclear to many young boys who don't understand that NO simply means NO! It has nothing to do with the atmosphere or the situation. Just because a girl has not explicitly said NO to you does not mean that it is not rape. If she expresses her disagreement in clear words and/or gestures, it is the responsibility of a young boy, a man, not to impose his will on her. The same applies in the case where a girl or woman does not have all her senses and cognitive faculties, being under the effect of alcohol or illicit substances, for example. She is therefore unable to assess the situation and understand what is happening, so engaging in sexual activity is rape, because under these conditions it will be difficult to prove that consent has been given.
«When a girl tells you NO, put your ego aside and respect her will! » ~MrsKiss Kay
STORYTIME: I invite you to discover the story of Anaïs who was raped by an Uber driver.
I would like to mention that it doesn't matter what she was wearing, it doesn't matter that she drank too much. No man has the right to abuse a woman under any circumstances!
Her friends called her an Uber just so that she could get home safely, alas when you are a woman, you are not safe anywhere.
When you're a woman and you come home late at night, your family and friends will have the reflex to tell you «Be careful!» This is something that is rarely said to a man. Instead, they'll say, «Get home safe!». This shows that the danger is real when you are a woman.
On a daily basis, many women do not have the same rights as men simply because they are women. This sexism is gaining ground and also manifests itself through a hypersexualization of women. Indeed, a woman who dresses sexy is immediately characterized as a «hottie», a woman of easy virtue. If by chance something bad happened to her, the public opinion would automatically justify it by the way she was dressed.
However many men say they appreciate attractive women, but strangely these same men will say that a woman who dresses like this makes a show of herself, is looking for trouble etc..What a paradox!
«A man with true values will not be shaken by external factors such as a woman's outfit. Integrity is a choice which draws its essence from solid values such as personal convictions and honesty.» ~MrsKiss Kay
Lack of credibility
A woman's word will easily be questioned because apparently women always have hidden agendas. When they accuse a man of rape, it is because they are trying to damage his reputation or they do it in order to get revenge. When a woman accuses a man of rape, he may actually be guilty of it. It's that simple.
After all, it is true that there are vicious women who use this pretext to extract money from a man, but why should these cases call into question all the testimonies of these brave women who have suffered atrocities and have finally had the courage to speak out?
It is the duty of the police to be discerning. There needs to be a cell within the police that is well trained to deal with complaints from women victims of rape. It is essential that the police show their support for the victim.
Above all, the victim should not be blamed and the perpetrator's actions should not be justified.
Being A Feminist is frowned upon
A woman who knows who she is, what she is worth and clearly states her opinion is wrongly perceived. Some men see her as a competitor whose sole objective is to suppress the role of men in society. Yet this is not the case.
To be a feminist is to be in favour of a fairer society, in which women will have their place around the table.
Women will not be there as figurants but will take part in the action.
It will be the end of "Just sit there and look pretty" because women will have their say and they will finally be heard.
A feminist dreams of a society that will offer women the same opportunities as men, quite simply.
Even when women are fighting to improve their living conditions it is frowned upon, yet it should be encouraged. One wonders if demonizing feminists is not done deliberately, to avoid solving the real problem, which is to reduce inequalities between men and women.
All men are not enemies but allies.
Unfortunately there is still a handful of men who tarnish the image of men in society. It is these men who have understood that society favors them and who have decided to play dirty.
They have mischievously used their power to subject women to their will. It is as a result of these numerous abuses of power that the ME TOO movement was born.
ME TOO is a movement that went viral when a plethora of movie stars received inappropriate suggestions, some of which went as far as rape. They took the brunt of this movie industry tycoon who was nothing more than a sexual abuser. He used his power to abuse many women.
If for some, the ME TOO movement is linked only to this drama, for many women it goes far beyond that. It is a movement that encourages women to speak out and denounce the abuse, the attempted rapes and the unfortunate experiences that many women have been subjected to.
And if before some women were afraid to speak out, knowing that they are not alone gives them the courage to speak out and act.
And it is by taking action, by uniting our voices that these abuses will be severely punished.
The fight is not easy, but it is worth it. We should educate our sons from an early age to become caring and respectful men towards women, in order to hopefully reverse the trend one day.
Women should be open to dialogue and denounce their aggressors, without putting all men in the same basket.
Our daughters, our sisters, the women of tomorrow should understand that respect is earned. We live in an unjust world, the slightest mistake is fatal to us. It is therefore advised to have an exemplary attitude and to impose respect, so as not to give this society the opportunity to discriminate against us even more.
Women are no longer simple victims, poor lost sheep who have inadvertently crossed the path of a wolf. Women have regained their power by denouncing abuses and channeling the fear that has long prevented them from being free and fulfilled.
Inequality between men and women should be everyone's fight.
The fact is that women are not sufficiently represented in the different sectors and do not have more positions of responsibility than men.
Therefore, it is crucial that men are increasingly aware of discrimination against women and take measures to sanction it.
It is time for us to work together for a more egalitarian society.