Relating to #YesAllWomen

Generally I stay out of politics and current events and especially tragedies. However, there have been a handful of tweets under #YesAllWomen that resonate with me. Too strongly not to share.

If you don’t know much about the hashtag, it began as a reaction to the recent Isla Vista killings. For a more detailed explanation check out well-written articles here and here.

Let me be clear… I have lived a very safe, charmed (and lucky) life. Most of the heart-wrenching tweets under this hashtag are light-years beyond anything I have ever come close to experiencing. They are tragic. They are frankly hard to read.

To me #YesAllWomen is about something basic.

It isn’t just about abuse and violence.

It isn’t just about power or control.

It isn’t even really about feminism.

It is about some daily, underlying fears that exist in simply being female.

Fears so quiet, so ingrained, that they become an subconscious part of our lives… an assumed norm.

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These five tweets in particular hit home. 

(Thank you to this fantastic ThoughtCatalog article for these tweets.)

1. Rape is circumstantial?

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I’m as equally terrified by the number of females who think certain circumstances make this acceptable as I am by the variety of situations that are justifiable to any percentage of any gender. 

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2. Fashion isn’t a declaration of desire.

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It’s my body and I will wear whatever I want. It still belongs to me, no matter how much skin I choose to let out into the world. You are Christopher Columbus and I am America. Already claimed way before you set eyes upon it.

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3. Understanding the physical food chain. 

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I know this one is a long read, but it’s well worth it. I am hardly a weakling, but at the end of the day most men could use physical power against me and win.  I can’t imagine living with the freedom that knowing I couldn’t be forcefully overwhelmed would provide. I can’t imagine being a man.

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4. We call it the “just in case” text.

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For me, this started while living in NYC with two blocks that separated a close friend and I from our subway stop and each other. I won’t sleep well if I don’t know you made it home safe… because you never know what could happen. That uncertainty, no matter how small the likelihood, is always there.

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 5. I know kung-fu, I know kung-fu, I know kung-fu.

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 It’s a mantra repeated while walking alone in the dark. Psyching yourself up for any potential threat. Or I pretend I am Wolverine, my keys adamantium claws. It doesn’t matter how safe or familiar the neighborhood is. Something about dark and isolation evokes childhood-esque fears of monsters looming within every shadow. 

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The human spirit is amazing. It is strong and resourceful and oh so flexible.

Even as a young(ish) female, it is so easy to become used to these things. I don’t ever think about how silly it is that I instinctively feel the need to arm myself with the flimsy armor of keys between fingers in the night.

Afterall, I’m not some wilting flower or big eyed girl fresh off the farm. I consider myself decently well traveled and have called one of the biggest cities out there home. Call it fear, call it uncertainty, call it caution. No matter how small, it is still a subconscious partner in my daily life.

At the end of the day, the reason I think #YesAllWomen is blowing up the internet is basic. It’s because the startling and somewhat sad perspectives expressed in all these tweets speak truth.  These are things that ALL women experience, outside of age, race, location, profession, etc.

Via: au.lifestyle.yahoo.com
Via: au.lifestyle.yahoo.com

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I’m not looking to start an argument. I not looking for (or offering) any solutions. I have rarely been the victim of any gender-based negativity. As I opened with, I am very lucky. I know this.

This post is most definitely not anti-male or pro-feminism or anything along those lines. This specifically ISN’T about drawing lines of any sort. It’s not about exclusion or finger-pointing or blame. (Those of you who know me well know that I am a lover, not a fighter anywho.)

It’s just about awareness.

Let’s all just try and be a little more aware that our own norms may be unimaginable to others. 

And therefore hard to understand.

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There is also this great article by Rob Fee; a guy’s perspective on this whole #YesAllWomen thing. You should absolutely check it out.

 

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