Victim Blaming

It has recently been announced that someone hacked the iCloud and nude photos of celebrities have been stolen and released to the public.  Some people actually have the audacity to blame the celebrities.  I could go on and on about this because it frustrates me so much, but instead of writing thousands of words few will finish, I’ll sum it up quickly.

What two consenting adults do behind closed doors is their business.  If they want to send nude photos to each other that’s not anyone’s business except theirs.

I’ve been seeing screen shots of tweets posted by so many people blaming the celebrities, saying protect your computer better or you shouldn’t take them in the first place.  Well if someone breaks into your secure house and steals your diamond ring, do people come up to you and say “Well that’s your fault.  You shouldn’t have bought that ring in the first place.”  The answer is no they don’t.  Someone STOLE that ring which is YOUR personal property just as they STOLE these private images which are not theirs.  This is simply victim blaming.

In a perfect world, everyone who viewed these photos and who stole them should be charged with a crime.  This is not a joke, this is not funny.  These are very private, personal and intimate things that have been taken and distributed without permission. 

That’s all I have to say on the issue.

♥ Meggie

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#Yesallwomen

I’ve seen this hashtag being used, #yesallwomen.  Initially I didn’t know it was in response to anything, but I loved it.  I truly think it does open up people’s eyes (especially some men who don’t necessarily see a problem with how society treats women).

I can relate to the majority of the posts as well.  I can relate to being afraid in a dark parking lot in the middle of the night, keys braced by my fingers just in case a man attacks me.  I can relate to going to a party or club and not drinking too much because I knew I could get attacked and then be blamed because society tells me it’s not the rapists fault, it’s mine.  I can relate to being harassed on the street, the feeling of someone actually grabbing my butt and laughing like it was ok when I was terrified.  Through the work I do, I’ve heard the abuse stories, the rapes, assaults, beatings, I’ve heard it all.

I know I was primed by society to know I wasn’t safe alone, that if I was with a man, he should walk me out into that dark parking lot, join me on the street and defend me from potential harassment and assailants because it is safer to be with a man.  The men I grew up with were never taught to be afraid because a woman might rape them or attack them, but I was taught a man could and that was a reality I had to accept.  I had to accept the fact that I could be attacked, be taught how to keep myself safe, but potential attackers didn’t have to be taught not to attack me in the first place.

That is what you learn, growing up as a woman.  People tell you that you’re supposed to go through life independently because you can do anything, just don’t dress like a slut (whatever that means), don’t drink too much and always stay armed if you’re alone, keys between your fingers, mace in hand.

After doing more reading, I discovered that this hashtag was in response to the shootings in Santa Barbara and I see more and more articles appearing on my Facebook focusing on ‘women’s’ issues and how the shooting solely relates to those issues. To be perfectly honest, it is really bothering me.

I agree, his manifesto was sexist and misogynist, however I do not believe one bit that this is solely a woman’s issue nor should it be made into one.

As a feminist, I fight for equal rights, equal for both men and women.  I recognize my own struggles in society as a woman, however I know men have different struggles at times as well.  With regards to the shooting, we need to talk about the sexual violence against women, we need to talk about how we are NOT property, men do not OWN us, we are not to be sexually dominated.

At the same time we need to talk about the hyper-masculine version of a man that society creates and pressures men to be.  They are supposed to be strong, dominating, sexually driven and yes that is part of the reason why there is violence against women (another great conversation) but it also impacts men as well.

If we’re going to bring in topics on how this hurts women, we should talk about how it hurts men too.  We should also be talking about how when men are sexually assaulted they can’t come out and talk about it because then they appear to not be ‘real men’.  God forbid a man is sexually assaulted by a woman!!  Our society makes that into a joke that is seen in movies, we laugh at that, think it’s not even possible.  What about when a female beats her male partner??  That’s a joke in society too.  There was a video that was created first showing two actors.  First the man was grabbing and hitting the woman in public and people intervened!  They said they’d call the police, shouted at him to stop, were visibly upset!  When the tables were turned and the woman beat the man, no one came to help me.  There were actually people who laughed at the scene, as if it were a joke.

So yes, I strongly believe we need to talk about violence against women, we need to start this conversation, we need to talk about what we go through, we need to talk about how the stereotypically masculine image hurts us because we are turned into sexual property.  At the same time, we need to acknowledge that this hyper-masculine image also hurts men as well, especially in cases of abuse (as it hurts women).

If this hashtag was unrelated to the shooting that would be a different situation where it could only involve the struggles women face.  Since it’s not and if we’re going to bring up all these topics of violence against women, we should do the same for men.We must have a conversation, and all-inclusive conversation about abuse, neglect and how gender expectations hurt us, not only as women or as men but as a society.

Being A Woman

I was having my typical Wednesday lunch with a friend and we got into a discussion about Feminism and being a women in today’s day and age and what our beliefs are so I thought I’d share some of what we discussed.

I believe I’ve written about this point before, about how you can be a feminist and still look like a woman.  Some feminists believe that women shouldn’t wear make up or heels or things like that, I was even told once by one that women wear heels because they have low self-esteem.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  My friend and I are both young women who love skirts, dresses, makeup and heels, doing our hair and getting dressed up to go out.  Even at my office job, I wear 4 inch heels every single day.

Typically, when you see women in positions of power, those positions that were once considered a “man’s” position, they dress very masculine, in business suits.  There’s nothing wrong with a business suits, but some have the tendency to give women less of a figure and make them look more like a man.

Hillary Clinton was always seen in one of those suits, except when she was first lady and was supposed to take on that role of a woman.  Politics have been seen as a man’s job, so that’s what she did.  Women are starting to appear with more feminine traits in positions of power (politics, business, etc.) but not enough in my opinion. My questions to those feminists out there believing that women shouldn’t get dolled up because it makes us “sexual objects”, why do I have to dress like a man to compete with one?  I can look like a woman, embrace my femininity and do everything a man can do.  All in a day’s work and a pair of 4 inch heels.

We ended up going on so many tangents and ended up on the next frustrating topic.   I’d like to preface this with the fact that we both believe that you can’t be extreme in politics, you can only be democrat/republicans because democrats/republicans are always right and they have no flaws and are full of unicorns and sunshine!  Every side has flaws and if you can’t recognize those flaws, you can’t make your group better and you have to recognize good aspects of your opponent’s side to work together to get things done.

The one thing we absolutely don’t understand about politics is why are men telling us what to do with our bodies?  The entire debate on birth control is so frustrating!  I don’t believe in sex before marriage so I wouldn’t need birth control now to prevent a child since I’m not active because I’m not married.However, my menstrual cycles are awful and for a while they were so heavy I literally couldn’t do anything to manage them.  My friend had the same problem.  My sister, she gets migraines so bad that she is vomiting and has to stay in bed because she is so sensitive to light.  Mom, when she was my age, was getting hers twice a month because of an imbalance in her hormones.  Men don’t understand that birth control can also be used as a medication to fix these side effects of a woman’s period and the reason being is the last time I checked men don’t get periods. Don’t instruct me on things that you have absolutely NO idea what they are like.

Also, even if a woman has decided to have sex before marriage or a married couple wants birth control, that is their right and their choice!  The argument that I hear most often relates to religion.  If you are of a faith that doesn’t believe in birth control, that is great, stick to your values and believes, don’t let people change those, argue and don’t use birth control.  Just keep the religious argument out of my politics.  The last time I checked, we sought independence from England in 1776 in order to separate church and state.  If there is a political argument about birth control, throw it at me during a political debate, if it’s a religious one, keep it out of politics and argue religion when it doesn’t involve politics or during a personal argument.  If there is only a religious argument, then it should just be a personal choice not a governmental one.

Next is the entire idea that if a man sleeps with multiple women he’s a hero and if a woman sleeps with multiple men, she’s a slut and of course that is not fair at all.  I personally think one night stands are dangerous, you could be attacked by the person you leave with, they could have a disease and I think you should wait for marriage, but it is their choice not mine!  I will NEVER judge a person, man or woman, unless they treat the opposite gender poorly.

That topic was short lived and led us straight onto the topic of feminists and the porn industry.  I don’t like porn, I’ve never in my life watched porn and I’ve never had the desire too.  Personally, I don’t think there should be a porn industry, I do believe that at times, depending on who is watching it, their background and various other factors, it desensitized men (or women) to the opposite gender, but in most cases it is men.  I also think that is glamorize sex too much (as to too many things in our society currently).  HOWEVER, if a woman has some desire to enter this industry, then it is her choice.  As women, we fought for the right to make our own decisions and not be ordered around by other people.  What is the difference if a man is giving us an order or a woman is?  Just because I don’t agree with the entire industry doesn’t mean I’m going to try to control and take away another woman’s right to make a choice.

This blog has gotten a lot longer than I expected!  We just had such a great discussion and agreed on so many topics, I had to write about it!  Obviously these statements and frustrations are generalizations, not all feminists think you should look like a man and not all men are ordering women around about birth control.  Maybe one day I’ll elaborate on some of these with more details.

I’d love to hear your feedback, if you’re a hard-core feminist, a woman or a man, tell me what your opinions are or if there are other topics that frustrate you.