I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when I saw somebody had shared someone else’s picture:
Women as an element? Oh no you didn’t.
Women aren’t elements. We are not simply objects to be used by men, nor are we ornaments to be dangled from mens’ arms. We do not exist for your possession and your sexual pleasure. We are not whores and sluts and bimbos and gold-diggers. We have brains, and it should not matter what we look like, or what we weigh. I do not find this picture funny, and neither should you.
Immediately after I saw this, I reported it to Facebook and privately messaged the user, explaining that the post was sexist and that I found it offensive. To his credit, he apologized and deleted it right away, thanking me for notifying him of the error. It still irks me, however, that the original post is still out there somewhere. I’d like to find the creator of this picture and give him a piece of my mind.
Lately, I’ve been doing research on the topic of slut-shaming, rape culture, and sexism. Originally, my goal was just to finish a well-written paper for my English class and get a decent grade.
However, by doing this research I’ve been becoming more aware of what our post-feminist culture is really like—that though women might feel more empowered now than we did a century ago, we’re still facing oppression on a day to day basis. As a result, I’m seeing examples of sexism everywhere. I’m thinking more critically of things now, including the things that my friends say.
My goal now is to raise awareness of this seemingly invisible problem. It’s a slow start, but I think I can make at least a little difference—starting within my circle of friends. More easily said than done, as I don’t want to purposefully alienate anyone. But if you’re reading this post, then that’s a start for both me and you. Awareness first, then action!