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Feminism \ˈfe-mə-ˌni-zəm\, noun, meaning:

  1. the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities
  2. organized activity in support of women’s rights and interests

Feminist – an activist to such rights

I have found myself having to defend and protect women in ways I thought were no longer necessary in the 21st century. I had to remind men that a woman’s body is her own. What she does with it is in no way a measure of the amount of male attention she craves.

Last year, while at my former employer, I got an email stating how someone had complained that my dress code was inappropriate after working there for almost a year! I soon found out that the individual that complained was a male colleague, stating that my dresses were too short. I calmly informed them that I was not going to change my dress code as I wore formal dresses sold by normal retailers, and I could not change the fact that I’m 5’11 (179cm). A similar thing happened this year when a male complained that my round neck dress was “too revealing” and was inappropriate to wear around male colleagues. Even when everyone else found no problem with this particular dress.

My point is that men have taken it upon themselves to dictate what women should and shouldn’t be wearing, saying, watching, doing, etc… For no one moment do men think that women do things for their own enjoyment. Another example of this was seen when rapper Wale took it upon himself to apologize to all females for feeling the need to modify their bodies to gain male attention (full article here).

For the longest time women have had to justify their reason for being. Defending ourselves against inappropriate comments, while dodging the bullet of being labeled “bitch”. We are forced to smile at strangers, listen to remarks by male friends on how you may want to sleep with them, while fighting the battle that rap has nothing to do with how you dress as a woman.

Gretchen Kelly said it best when she said: “So maybe they don’t know. Maybe they don’t know that at the tender age of 13 we had to brush off adult men staring at our breasts. Maybe they don’t know that men our dad’s ages actually came on to us while we were working the cash register. They probably don’t know that the guy in English class who asked us out sent angry messages just because we turned him down. They may not be aware that our supervisor regularly pats us on the ass. And they surely don’t know that most of the time we smile, with gritted teeth. That we look away or pretend not to notice.”

Click here for the full Gretchen Kelly article.

 

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Ros Limbo
mulemwa.limbo@gmail.com