In this second installment of my female rights series social issues across the world will be discussed. There are a vast number of problems in our world that this series cannot even hope to encompass: perception of beauty, make-up, rape, media portrayal, and outdated gender roles – the list goes on and on. But what I can hope to achieve is to point out that no matter where you go, women are thought of automatically as the weaker sex.
Unlike what many perceive feminists doing on a regular basis, this will not be an attack on men. After all, the definition of feminist is “advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.” Let’s remove the negative connotation, please, that a few extremists and men-haters have given the word.
We can acknowledge the fact that women are the generally physically weaker than men; there is no way to argue against it. But there are countless double-standards surrounding women in nearly every aspect of their lives. If she wears make-up, she’s vain and superficial. If she doesn’t wear make-up, she’s an unprofessional slob who needs to be fired. If she asserts herself as a strong and independent woman, she’s shrewd. If she tries to be kind to everyone, she’s a frail, delicate woman who allows people to walk all over her.
There is simply no way women can win. And when others’ opinions of women bleed into their actions, the problems are greatly magnified. Rape and sexual assault are rampant around the globe because if men perceive women as the weaker gender, they’re going to take advantage of it, right? Women used to be burned on their husbands’ funeral pyre in India because they were considered to “belong” to their husbands. Human trafficking is a serious problem in many countries such as Nepal and Madagascar. Women are considered property rather than people in numerous countries such as Pakistan, where young girls are given as tokens. Young children are married in countries such as Niger, and in areas of South Asia, young girls are sometimes married to much older men.
Evidence like this helps to show how and why women constantly live their lives in fear: fear that they will be attacked, sexually assaulted, or harassed simply because of their gender. There are some who take a stand against this sort of violence against women but, for the most part in many countries, there isn’t much being done to address the these many problem. Women are subjected to the malicious intents of men who believe that they can get away with their actions as society doesn’t take women seriously. Rape jokes and victim blaming also support the notion among the ignorant that men aren’t so horrible for taking advantage of women.
Women are considered to be the silly, weak little trophy-wives on the side, for many. That perception is simply not all right. While society awards stigmas, judgments, stereotypes, and labels to women, they are being attacked and treated like dirt around the globe. But women consist of 51% of the world’s population, so why are we letting men walk over us? Change can start with one person. Change how you view the people around you. Change how you perceive and treat women, even if you are one. Eliminate the condescension, judging, and the stereotyping around you. Stop the discrimination.