Patriarchy: a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.
Events this week have put the patriarchy back in the lime light (not that it was ever out of it) and so there was no other topic to discuss today.
I, like most women, have been talked down to or told to be quiet in male dominated sections of society. (At work to name an example.) I’ve been told off, because how dare a woman have opinions? And I used to feel bad and let them scold me thinking maybe I should just be quiet after all. It would be easier. But then I was patronised one too many times and I began to bite back.
Men really hate that.
Yet, society has brought us up to believe we shouldn’t speak out. That we should keep to our little pink box and shut up. So defending myself to people (men) always leaves me feeling shaky and sick. I hate doing it. But what I hate even more is the fact I need to in the first place.
I have so much more to give this world than my body.
When I pull away from a man getting too close, or speak out against sexist rubbish, I’m always told it’s my fault—that there’s something wrong with me. And for years I believed it was my fault. That I was a prude for not wanting to be touched by men breathing hot alcohol breath down my neck. That I should keep quiet, lay back, and think of England. That worrying about whether my skirt was too short, or feeling uncomfortable before events because men might try to sleep with me and then get aggressive when I say no, was normal.
I’ve been made to feel that way not just by the men themselves, but by female friends and family members. This is just what women have to deal with, is a phrase I hear a lot. BUT WHY? I always ask. And I get no answer.
Why is this the norm? Why do men own the world and women stay at home with the kids they’ve made with their bodies like they’re freaking superheros? When men can be anything why do we have to sit quietly at the fringes and look pretty?
And so I say this:
I am NOT a wilting flower.
I’m in full bloom
and proud of it.
[Because of my general fury with men (yes, I know, NOT ALL men. We get it.) I’m dedicating this week to strong independent women. Here’s a fierce song to start you off and I’ll see you Wednesday for a post about toxic masculinity in YA fiction! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyuPSLj_6aw]