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Why Feminism Helps Everyone

July 25, 2018

Hey, guys! Before I proceed, I just wanted to apologize for being more than two weeks late (oops ...)

 

BUT I have a very good excuse - I've been busy ... writing! The first draft is barely forming but I have a general idea that I cannot WAIT to show you all!

 

(sooner or later ... probs later ...)

 

Anyway, off to our subject.

 

And before you say anything, no - feminism is NOT making women better in any way than men. That's sexism.

 

FEMINISM, however, can be explained in one simple image;

 

 

Equality. Sameness. Treating everyone the SAME.

 

Now, I used to think that we don't need feminism because I didn't understand it before.

 

I still clearly remember back in seventh grade when one of my close friends came up to me (shoutout to you, Fatima. You rock :)) and asked me if I was a feminist.

 

"A what?" I asked, confused.

 

"A feminist," she repeated, determination in her eyes. "It's when you believe men and women should have equal rights."

 

"Sure," I shrugged. "Guess you could call me a feminist!"


But then, towards the end of eighth grade while my friends and I were ditching class (don't do that, kids) we were talking about feminism. I immediately remembered my encounter with it in seventh grade.

 

"Yes!" I jumped in. "I am a feminist!"

 

But then I got asked and was included in so many conversations I neither did understand nor related to. It's when I realized that I didn't even look it up. And I was calling myself something that I didn't even clearly know.

 

So I read. And I'm furious.

 

 

Not too long ago, women weren't allowed to drive here in Saudi Arabia. It was a momentous occasion last month. Police officers gave women roses on the day we were finally allowed to drive.

 

It's literally steering a metal box to transport myself. Why can't I do it? I'll even do it with long nails and heels if I want to.


Here's my favorite story - there was a woman who lived in the time of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), and her name was Khawlah bint Al-Azwar. Her brother was killed in battle. Instead of moping and sobbing over his lifeless body, she gathered herself up and showed her enemies what they missed, and went onto the battle field in full armor.

 

She went out there and killed so many soldiers, the Prophet (PBUH) and his friends were impressed. They went to see, who was this man who could be so brave? Lo and behold, it's Khawlah.

 

And you're telling me I can't drive ... sheesh!

This problem begins ever since we're so young. How many times has your brother, male cousin or friend pulled your hair, poked you, or literally annoyed you in anyway?

 

A lot.

 

What did our moms, aunts, grandmas, teachers say? "He's just doing it to annoy you!"

 


To be completely honest, I hit back. I kicked back. I defended myself. And I got yelled at for "that's not lady-like!" I didn't know self defense wasn't lady-like, my bad. Guess I'll let myself be abused, oh well.


BONUS: in kindergarten, it was a school rule that boys stand in line first. I used to run to the canteen and actually wind up first, but "sorry sweetie, boys first."


??? is all I have to say.


Another thing is when we're expected to become psychics and read men's minds. One of my relatives was telling us about how when her husband comes home he just ... "Where's the thing? Didn't you prepare that? I expected --- to be here."


WELL THEN TELL ME ??? I WON'T SAY NO BUT YOU EXPECT ME TO JUST MAGICALLY KNOW?


AND I saw with my own two eyes a guy send his wife to get him a spoon. Get your own spoon, son, your legs look fine to me, because I will not pause my work just because you're lazy watching France versus Belgium on the TV, mkay?

 

I also have in mind that when, and if, I do get married, my husband and I are gonna split the chores, the cooking, the taking care of the kids - yes I'm a mom but guess what; they're your kids too! Surprise!


And don't dare say a word to me because look at these REAL men who UNDERSTAND what it's like to be living in a world where males are automatically superior:


Theres this bean:

 


And this dude who knows what's up:

 

 
And this fabulous poster:

 

 


So don't go around saying we don't need feminism - if you think that you're either privileged or oblivious.

This is where sexism comes in. A woman can't be such and such because she's a woman. A woman isn't expected to blah blah blah because she is who she is.

 

Again, a good graphic will convey the message perfectly;

 

 

I never said I wanted to be better. I never said I wanted to be superior. I never said I wanted to look down to men. I just said I wanted a staircase too, and everybody went insane.

 

There's this story I read once that a manager from some company shared. He said that he and his colleague, a female, had the same job. Replying to emails. A problem that could be solved in fifteen minutes took her an hour to wrap up.

 

Looking to find out what was wrong, he swapped emails with her, so that she was "him" and he was "her". It was hell - his words. Customers were uncooperative, he kept begging them for information they turned their nose upon, and doubted everything he said. Moreover, they were rude, mean, and just didn't know how (or probably didn't want) to treat a woman with basic manners.

 

The moment he said "oh, I'm X! I'm just using Y's email" their attitudes changed a full 180 degrees. Their tone became friendlier, they cooperated, and he was done in a record time.

 

And you guessed it - his colleague was awesome. She had solutions for everything and was moving so quickly! Just because people thought she was a man ...

 

THIS is an example of sexism, my friends. Just because she was a female, she "apparently" had no experience.

 

And that's just one example. So many workplaces make it hard for women to get a job there, even if she had equal, sometimes even more expertise than a man!

 

Even in Disney's Ratatouille, Chef Colette said that the restaurant had rules that made it impossible for women to work in the kitchen - but she made it because she's a WOMAN.

 

*sigh*


Now, I'll say it again, and louder:

 

FEMINISM IS EQUALITY!!!

 

Which is why I don't understand why men have to hide their feelings to be considered "manly".


Have I ever seen a guy over 12 years old cry? No. Why? Because they are taught that "real men" don't cry. And that's sad.

 

Let boys cry. Let them look for someone to hug for support. It's fine - it's human nature. Having feelings doesn't make you any less of a man.

 

 
In general, guys are expected to stay strong, to be a role model, to hold the family up ... and that is all true. They were created for this - it's their job in life. But sometimes it gets too much, and sometimes it hurts

 

And that's okay.


In conclusion, I just wanted to say that we all need feminism because it means we can all do anything and can be anything. Without being judged. ALL of us.


Any additions/ Any thoughts you wanna share? Because I'd really like to hear what you think!


Rant ahead in the comments :) You deserve it, whether your a girl or guy.


And stay optimistic, keep thinking limitlessly, and the world is yours. Remember that.

 

~Leena

 

 

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©2018 by Leena Althekair.