This is a guest post from Stef. It is cross-posted at her own blog, A Touch of the Crazy.
I think I need to stop reading the newspapers, it really isn't good for my blood pressure. First we had the Prime Minister talking about which women he'd like to fuck with a man who broke his partners back, which was followed up not by a 'me too' rather than 'Don't be a dick John' from the the male leader of the opposition. Now we have a radio station running a 'win a wife' competition in which the winner gets an all expenses paid trip to the Ukraine to choose a wife from the candidates carefully selected by an online matchmaking service.
While you are picking your jaw up off the floor I'm going to off on tangent for a minute.
On a friends blog I was recently schooled for a rather lazy and inane comment by a young teenager.
I say this without any fear of embarrassment because damn that girl, no fuck it, that young woman was impressive to the point of scary. Her arguments were clear and well reasoned but what impressed me the most was that she had this air of confidence that she had. This teenager wasn't going to take any shit from anyone, least of all me, a person twice her age. I wish I could have been like her at 13. And perhaps I was. I looked at her blog which at the moment is chronicling her adventures of starting high school. Rather than being forlorn at the prospect of impending doom she is so excited about the possibilities for the future. She thinks anything is possible and I hope for her that they are. As a bonus she loves the Gilmore Girls, which as a person who spent Christmas re-watching the entire series for possibly the 500th time I say HELLZ YEAH.
I'm not going to link to her. Not because I don't think she is wonderful, she is, but because I really, really don't want to her to read what I am about to say.
In the next few years there will be people that will go out of their way to crush everything I think is so amazing about this girl right out of her.
She'll start being judged on her appearance, fuck that's probably already started. She's probably been told she's too short, too tall, her breasts aren't big enough, her hair is the wrong colour and that makes her ugly. Everyone knows men don't like ugly women. Good girls are beautiful.
She's probably already been asked if she is sure wants to eat *insert bad food item here* because she'll get fat. Everyone knows men don't like fat women. Good girls are skinny.
She's probably been called a swot or a nerd because she is smart. Everyone knows men don't like smart women. Good girls know that they aren't smarter than men.
At some point she'll stand her ground on an issue and will be called a bitch. Everyone knows men don't like women who disagree with them. Good girls nod and smile to keep the peace.
At some point she'll have sex with a person she likes and get called a slut. Everyone knows men don't like women who take charge of her sexuality. Good girls wait to be chosen by a man.
At some point she'll be walking, running or just existing in public and will get told she has nice tits or a cute ass. Everyone knows that men are just being 'normal.' Good girls secretly like this kind of attention and the ones who don't get it are just jealous.
At some point she'll get passed over for a job or paid a little less. Everyone knows that women just want to stay home with the babies. Good girls are just good mothers in training.
At some point she might have babies and continue her career but is breaking under the strain of trying to combine a career with motherhood. Everyone knows women do the housework and child-rearing, that's what good mothers do.
At some point she might not have children but instead be leader of country. Everyone knows that there must be something secretly wrong with women who don't have children. It must mean she's ugly, fat, stupid, a bitch, a slut, a lesbian, a bad mother or, crime of all crimes, unfuckable.
I want to tell this teenager that they are wrong. I want to tell her what is in her head and the content of her character are far more important than what is on the outside that she can have a happy and fulfilling life and still be her.
But I'm going to have scream over the thousands of incidents, both big and little, which are telling her that her worth as an individual is derived solely by how many men want to have sex her and how many babies she manages to have.
Because in order for the guys, whether they be the Prime Minister, the leader of the opposition, a radio station or the boys in her class, to 'have a bit of fun' or a 'joke around' someone needs to be the punchline, and that punchline (both literal and figurative) is her. The girl daring to be different, daring to be smart and most importantly willing to tell others when she disagrees with them.
Damn it, I want to go back to the time I was that girl. Before I had been schooled in the art of being a good girl.