If you´re not quite up to speed on the subject of street harassment, my girl Laci Green will give you a 5 minute lesson:
Ok everyone, grab yourself a second cup of coffee and maybe a snack, cause this is going to be a long one! I have on more than one occasion been in discussions with people who feel like feminism is no longer needed because we live in a modern society where women have the same opportunities/rights as men. It´s true that we´ve come a long way, those of us who live in the welfare countries of western society, thanks to our feminist grandmothers who worked their butts off getting us the right to vote, to drive a car, to wear pants, the right not to be owned by the man we marry ecc. However misogyny still very much exists, just in a different form. Most of us are so used to it that we don´t even recognize it for what it is. Every Sunday I will take a break from my usual street harassment posts and instead post a new part in my ”why feminsm is still needed” series. Not only will I give you the reasons, I will also explain why feminism is your friend, not your enemy, and that goes for both men and women. There´s a common misunderstanding that feminists hate men, we don´t, we hate the patriarchal structures of society. Feminism loves men, in fact we love men and women equally!
So here it goes, Why Feminism is still needed – Part 1:
What happened in Steubenville last year was a horrible shocking example of what we call rape culture. If we look past the horrifying details of the victim being dragged around unconscious and referred to as ”the dead girl”, all the tweeting, the facebooking and the bystander effect, this isn´t a rare exception, it´s a common mentality in our average society. A woman gets raped, and immediately the following questions are raised: What was she wearing? Had she been drinking? Did she really say no? Are you sure she didn´t actually want it? Wasn´t she kind of asking for it, drinking and then going home with that guy she barely knew? Poor guy, he didn´t stand a chance with her acting all drunk and slutty right there in front of him, and then when she suddenly changed her mind, whatever her reasons were, we all know guys can´t just stop in the middle of expecting sex, he had no choice, he had to rape her! And now his whole career is ruined because of that drunken temptress of a woman! According to society men aren´t thinking intelligent human beings, they are testosterone driven animals who go out of control at the sight of female flesh. Men are dumb neanderthals and women are just devilish whores.
Why we need feminism: Feminists believe that both men and women are intelligent thinking people. Short skirts and alcohol don´t cause rape, men in general don´t cause rape, a woman having consentual sex with 300 men doesn´t cause rape, RAPISTS cause rape. Feminism wants to end the victim blaming. Nobody would ask a victim of a robbery if he wasn´t walking around with his wallet visble in his pocket while walking down the street in a suspicious neighbourhood, and therefor maybe it was his own fault for tempting the robbers… Rape is a crime, just like robbery, murder, assault, and the only one who should be held responsible is the perpetrator.
I want to share a story with you, from my own life, something that happened to me when I had recently been dumped and was utterly heart broken. I went out drinking with my friends one night and I met a guy, he was cute and flirty and I needed some non-constructive terapeutical drunken sex with a stranger, in an attempt to move on from my ex. So I went home with him. We were on his bed, both half naked and making out, when suddenly my drunken brain travels to my ex, who had recently ripped out and stomped on my heart, and my whole body just shuts down, and my eyes tear up. The guy I´m with notices this immediately, stops what his doing and asks; are you okay? I say; no, I´m sorry, I have to go! He gets up, helps me find my clothes while asking if there´s anything he could do for me, then he walks me to the door and says; I´m sorry you´re not feeling well, I´d really like to see you again, here´s my number, if you want to, call me. Then we say goodbye and I go home, and that was it! Stranger guy, drunken girl, no rape! True story! This is what I believe normal men act like, and so should the rest of society. Don´t blame the victims, don´t blame men, blame the rapists!
Thank you for reading!
In a project titled “Stop Telling Women to Smile,” Brooklyn-based artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh places portraits of women in public spaces, encouraging victims of gender-based street harassment to fight back.