Women

Women

I’m sick of people saying misogyny and sexism is dead, that feminism isn’t necessary, and men & women are equal. I wish these statements were true, but they are not.

The leaders of the free world (American government representatives) are mostly male, and mostly white males at that. A lot of the diversity of backgrounds and identifications comes from the women. In 2017, 19.4% of the 535 members of senate are females. Only 6 out of the 50 governors are female, and one of these governors, Kate Brown, is the first openly LGBT governor. We still have yet to have a female president, but it seems unhopeful to have a favorable female elected when women in other political positions make up a minority. If men and women are supposedly equal, why do females only make up a small part of our law makers and politicians? If women, a group who make up roughly half of the U.S. population, have yet to become represented to their fullest potential, when will more marginalized groups like LGBT+ and immigrants be properly represented? I think everyone should be given a fair amount of representation, and that is definitely not where America is currently at.

Before I go on further, I think we have great representatives and politicians who try their best to stand by all walks of life. I’m also not suggesting that people should vote based on somebody’s privilege, race, gender, heritage, or identification; however, statically speaking, Americans have repetitively voted for straight white males for many government positions. This undoubtedly shows bias. The common excuse for this is not enough females or people from underrepresented groups are attempting to run. While this may or may not be true, people fail to explain the underlying cause of this excuse.

Don’t blame the players, blame the game. Males have advantages that females do not have every single day. Here is a prime example: if a man and woman who happen to both be famous politicians, have consensual sex, the aftermath is quite different for the two if this hookup were to be leaked to the press. The man might face a question or two, but it would be unlikely that he faces harassment. He is then applauded and shown to the public as “a man with game”. The woman, however, would probably be called a “whore” and/or portrayed as somebody who has a reputation for sleeping around. The man might sleep with a different woman every night, but he would rarely be condemned for it. Why? I could say ‘because society is just like this’, but that is a very vague statement. I think the ability to have sex is an adult privilege, one that communicates that somebody is in control of themselves. Sex is an expression of power and control  over yourself to do whatever you want. Therefore, I applaud women for taking control of themselves and their bodies, and doing whatever the hell they please. Though if you are a woman, a lot of society doesn’t agree with me. That girl from my example, let’s say she wasn’t famous and the man was, she would be marked as a “whore”. She might be able to sell some air time or a book about her sexual escapades, but finding a job after an incident like this would be extremely difficult because when employers search her name, the internet shows countless articles talking about her immorality. Remember Monica Lewinsky? She was on tract to have a respected job at the white house and now she admitted that very few employers will even consider her for a job interview. Bill Clinton? Don’t worry about him! He is still living the life and having his life documented to entertain the world.

So yes, I used an analogy about sex to help you understand that males do, indeed, have certain privileges and respect woman do not yet have. But you got it: men and women are simply not equal in today’s world.

I applaud the women who are chasing their dreams, especially the ones who dream to become successful politicians. I have a friend who has that dream and is currently spending her summer scanning, delivering, and throwing away papers for our state’s senator. She is trying to understand the political world and knows she must take one step at a time. But really, it takes one step at a time for a woman. Why is it that a president who has no political experience just got elected president? Societal inequalities. He is male, white, and straight. Yes, people still judge others based on their privileges or lack thereof; and he is proof of that. Many great women have attempted that same thing and worked their asses off to get where they were, and, obviously, failed. After losing a presidential race, they’re done. That’s a real inspiration for hardworking women and minorities… It almost shows them that no matter how hard they try, they will never be able to compete with a man.

I ask you to take a step back and compare daily situations between men and women. Small situations an easily turn into an inhibitor for a women and an advantage for man. Additionally, equality is not just about paper- it’s about the moments that seem as if they are the simplest parts of life to the best and all that is between. Societal inequalities are taking down females, but we need to start focusing energy toward bridging that gap. I think empowering people to go for whatever their heart desires and never judging anyone based off anything that is not their morality is exactly what we as society need to try out best to do. We won’t be perfect at it, I know I’m not, but if we at least put forth a conscious effort, change can and will be made. We need to change the game.

Daily Expression

Daily Expression

My appreciation for the expression of others
comes directly from the need to express myself.

I want to get piercings
and mark up my body
and make it my own.
Not because it’s pretty,
but because it’s uniquely me.

I want to drive at night
with the windows rolled down
blasting Bon Iver or Kendrick Lamar.
It’s a distinctive sensation
to feel the breezy wind
rattling the hair on my shoulders.

I want to wait
until I find a guy
who genuinely likes me
instead of settling for somebody
who doesn’t truly care about me.
I refuse to give into society
and their notion that love isn’t out there.

I want to travel
as often as I am able to
and experience cultures
that are drastically different from each other.
The world is full
of unique cultures and lives,
and I hope to experience as many as possible.

I want to express myself
and appreciate the expression of others.
Without truly listening
and truly understanding,
society is reduced
to a bunch of people wallowing about
alongside each other.

And what good is that?

I want to start putting in the effort
to look people in the eye
when they are talking.
So that I know
what makes them feel
happy, unique, and loved.

Taste Your Words

Taste Your Words

Things are getting bad again

Words start to feel like stones

And hugs like suffocation

While hazy moments of laughter

Cover the emptiness of my chest.

You’re not full, argues my stomach

You’re broken, says my heart

Every line that has been spoken to me

Telling me how to define myself

Comes back into my mind

Like a fog that deepens in the night.

Just keep your opinions to yourself sometimes

You’re actually smart?

No boy will want to listen to all that.

Crazy feminist bitch.

If you just worked on your stomach a little…

Try being less sensitive.

Get over yourself, it’s not all about you

Calm down, you’re being wild

You’ve been dating for 8 months, don’t you think you owe it to him?

 

I don’t like the way your words affect me

But I wish you tasted them too

Society Against Feline Abuse

Society Against Feline Abuse

Safa means ‘safe’ in Farsi

She explained as

We made the trek down

From the ranch house to the barn.

By the time we reached the bottom of the hill

The paint cans in our hands were boulders

And we set to work with rollers,

Covering the old wood the color of the open sky

And changing the decrepit and forgotten place

Into a home.

Four beaming eyes with pupils the size of saucers

Still slink away from me.

I know they’ve been hurting

And I know that they’re scared

But I don’t pretend to know what it feels like

To have your life in someone else’s hands.

But that’s why we’re here.

To open our arms

To make a home

To open some souls up to life.

I won’t surrender

I won’t surrender

I ask myself

Why I push you away

And why I wait for hugs to end.

And I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because

The last time I lost myself in someone

He twisted me and then spit me back out

Because I believed in waiting.

I wasn’t ready for him to force me down

But he did and no words can bring me back to that moment

He copied me by waiting patiently

For the moment to strike.

The moment when I was slow to react.

When I accepted the culture of the party life

And being with an older guy

And losing who I was to a bottle of Malibu.

In one moment, he shoved me down

And with me, my sense of self.

No, I’m not ashamed anymore.

When I’m proud of myself now,

It’s because I fought a boy who tied my worth

To my body

A boy who disregarded my freedom with one simple hand.

So I hope you get it.

Why when someone has complete control over me

I just don’t want to surrender so easily.

So I hope you get it

Why it took me a while to like your hugs.

Changed in a Moment

Changed in a Moment

Thin and skeletal wrists protrude out of a jacket much too large for her and grasp the black leather bound around the thin driving wheel much too tightly. Eyelids heavy with sleep close for a moment and then open again, somehow even more like slits than before they closed.

A pre-made playlist from the browse section plays from Hannah’s phone. The playlist is called, “Have a Good Day!” The exclamation is for emphasis, as if a well-wisher wouldn’t have completed his job if he hadn’t added that specific punctuation to the playlist she specifically seeks out. Soft beats and strums of the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” leak out of the sound system, filling her metal box sanctuary with the happy go lucky anthem. Her obsessively repetitive toe tapping attempts to follow the repetitive rhythm of the song but makes no progress in matching its relaxed beat.

Here comes the sun, here comes the sun

And I say it’s alright

The light changes back to ready and hopeful green, yet still Hannah does not move a toe. Honks and swerving pursue as angry cars with somewhere to be and somewhere to go get tired of dealing with her problems. They all leave without asking why she stays. They are only angry that she does stay. Finally, she accelerates and turns and keeps moving without so much as slowing down until she stops inside a diagonally painted box. An artificially lit green sign looms over the store’s parking lot. She goes into the store, but leaves just as quickly. They couldn’t help me, she reasons.

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter

Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here

Desperate to leave and return to the exclusivity of a book tucked behind blankets, she shifts to reverse and bends the wheel to get out of the tight space. A fraction of a second away from turning the wheel back to the direction she wants to go, another driver enters her life. He doesn’t see her sitting there in her silver car that was paid for by weekends of sacrificed time, suffering through a few measly dollars of tips. Honking ensues from the panicked young girl and the car behind her waiting for her spot, watching the miserable and panicked scene unfold. The man doesn’t heed her warning, and his car bumps the back of hers. It’s not catastrophic or earth shattering or any of the usual things that usually constitute an influential moment. It’s a bump.

The man with the growing white beard apologizes profusely, citing numerous excuses for his lack of looking to see that she was there. That she existed in that space at that time.

“It’s okay,” she lamented, forcing a smile to make the man feel better.

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces

Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here

It’s All Right.

The moment is yet more proof that the moments that break people aren’t necessarily extraordinary or consequential or obviously influential. Hannah’s car is undented and pristine on its outside as she flees the scene of the mix-up, but its interior is breaking down, as are the lives of countless high school students across the nation confronted with interior disorders.