Women today get judged more than ever. At least 60% of the users of every famous social media platform are females. Women also share at least 3x more than men do, and because of this, we are opening ourselves up to more chances of being judged. If you catch yourself making a judgment, at least be truly aware of how you shape your opinion, and most of all, know that you probably don’t have the right to speak for her anyway. (Surprise: just because you have an opinion, it doesn’t mean you need to shove it down people’s throats.)
Here, I’ve listed the top 3 things that most women get shamed and judged on, and how we can turn it around and try to give these women more power and less shame. This way, they can become more empowered individuals, and we can build a more compassionate society. So here goes:
On Our Selfies
I saw a friend on Facebook who asked people why women post selfies with their cleavage visible. Most people quickly commented that girls who do that are just attention-hungry, “papansin”, and are most likely insecure. In the first place, we post stuff to be noticed. We post about our food so people know what we are having. We post about our vacations to show it off. We post about our partners because we feel lucky to have them and want the world to know. Same goes with faces and other body parts. Because that’s really why people post stuff on social media, really! If a woman posts a selfie with her cleavage out then it’s because SHE WANTS YOU TO SEE IT. Now, isn’t consent amazing? If you feel insulted, by all means, unfriend or unfollow. But you have no right to tell her off. Or send her sleazy messages on Facebook. Harassment is harassment.
In our culture, it’s very common to train women to be ashamed of their sexuality. Homosexuality is (still) generally viewed as abnormal, or disadvantageous. Women are not supposed to talk about sex, or their sex organs, in public; it’s unbecoming. Lie about your trip to the OB-gyne. Bow your head when you buy a napkin, a pregnancy test, or a condom. Women should not date around. Or sleep around. Or tell people about it. STOP. Instead of shaming women what they do inside their bedrooms, we should build a safer environment for them to talk about it. Of course not everyone will want to talk about it. But younger girls will ask, older girls feel confused, and they need answers. Somehow, some way, we WILL talk about it. Talking about it is the first step towards education. Imagine what a safe, empowering environment can do to sex (and sexual health!) in general of course it would have to go hand by hand with an std aware LA testing.
We change our paths. We leave our “better paying” jobs behind. Or we stay home and prepare for pregnancy. Or work for our husband’s company. It’s not as if we make these decisions flippantly because we have a secret trust fund stashed somewhere. We make these decisions with utmost care, factoring in the future, expenditures, the people around us, and our personal growth. The last thing women need is someone looking down at them just because they have a career that is not aligned with what you (or the society) thinks. Instead, what we can do is congratulate these women, wish them a better life ahead, and that you would love to hear from them soon. You don’t know how much comfort that brings to most women given the fact that most of the time, we’d somehow be betting our financial security by making these difficult career decisions.
For those who are thinking of doing this already, thank you in advance. Remember, YOU ALWAYS HAVE THE POWER to change the conversation for the better. And really, if you are in the mood to shame someone, I can help you. I can think of so many corrupt officials, misogynists, racists, and homophobes who deserve that. Just kidding.