Because what are women’s rights?
Earlier this week I came across am article that said that pavements are one of the most hostile environments for women, and at first glance one can easily dismiss the notion nonchalantly and move along swiftly because you know, as women on the come up, we often think we have more pressing issues to deal with. But actually, this is probably one of the most pressing issues we all have to deal with everyday.
The pavement. That brick-faced path, in a public space where we should all be equal. Because surely in a space where we are ALL in transition, there are none more superior than others. There shouldn’t even be time to confront gender inequalities and societal “norms” I mean, more often than not, we are all just getting from point A to B.
But let me take a moment to reflect on my time on pavements.
Where was I when a man walked passed me and asked me how much my Vagina cost? On a pavement.
Where were we when a man tried to kick my friend because she was wearing shorts? On a pavement.
Where was I when a bunch of guys pulled up in car and told me to go home and get dressed? On a pavement.
Where was I when an old man chastised me for wearing shorts, knowing that I would provoke a rape? On a pavement.
Where was I earlier this evening when a man just reached out and grabbed me? On a flipping pavement.
While I dealing with this man, I was accosted with even more ridiculousness when another man said to me “I can see people are bothering you, let ME hold your hand so that they don’t bother you”
I’m sorry, what?
You’re trying to tell me that in order to get away from one man, I must seek refuge from ANOTHER man? I don’t think so.
I actually don’t think so.
I don’t understand why men think it’s perfectly acceptable to just reach out and grab woman as they please. It’s not. We are not objects of your desire that you can just touch and grab at, whenever you feel like it.
What frustrates me even more, is that we have started to accept this as “normal behavior” because you know, “this is what they do”. So I must make sure that I don’t dress in a manner that attracts attention, and I must get out of the situation without causing to much of a scene so that we can all go on about our lives.
When I was 14 years old, a boy in my grade came up to me during break, stopped right in front of me, put his hands on my breasts and said “Nice dairies” then he walked off. And I was left in that awkward space, cringing embarrassed and guilty.
I was the one who had just been violated, but I was also the one who carried all the shame.
And it’s been a cycle, I get harassed on pavements and I walk away. I put my head down, and just walk away. Because even in public spaces, every bit of violation the act of and the guilt thereafter is reserved for women. And the cycle continues. In homes, pavements, classrooms, offices and boardrooms.
Woman are steadily on the come up, but almost always at the bottom. Everyday we are becoming, progressing, and over coming. But even on our greatest days, were bound to be tripped up on a pavement somewhere.
A stupid brick-faced pavement.