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Teaching Respect

There has been so much in the news lately about gender equality, feminism and the objectification of women. Between Emma Watson’s UN speech, the disgusting backlash she has received for her views, and the piece of crap that is Sam Pepper (whom I debated not even bringing up in my blog, because yuck…), and the ban that some schools have placed on leggings and yoga pants, it seems never ending on social media the past couple days.

The other day, I stood in my driveway, about to get into my car when a truck filled with a lawn maintenance crew drove by. They all hung out their windows to get a better look at me. I foolishly looked down to see what I was wearing, even though a woman’s outfit should never be an invitation to be ogled. My jeans and tank top wasn’t out of the ordinary from what I’d normally where, and I saw no reasoning behind physically leaning from a moving vehicle to catch a better glimpse.
They went one way around the block, and my husband and I went the other. We ended up coming up behind them on one of the roads out of our development. They pulled over into the right lane, and as we passed, they honked the horn. I’ll be honest though, I’m not certain if they were honking at me, or the high school girls who were running down the street, a thought that made me sick to my stomach, literally.
One we’d passed them, and they’d cleared the girls, they pulled back into our lane, right behind us. Many miles down the road, once I’d just about forgotten them, they passed up, and once again leaned out of the truck to try to get a look at me. At this point, I was a bit shaken. They work in my neighborhood. They know what my car looks like, they know where I live. For the most part, I try to let the behavior of boorish men roll off my back, but when I go for a walk with my toddler, or take him out front to play, I don’t want to have to actually think about what I’m going to wear, and who might get their jollies off it.

Teen girls shouldn’t have to worry about wearing yoga pants to school because boys cannot control their thoughts. How about we teach our boys some respect for girls.

Much like the lawn crew, the behavior of Sam Pepper, objectifying women for views and money on YouTube, made me physically sick. He took it so far as to sexually assault woman in the name of a “prank” for the almighty dollar.
Granted, I am thankful that the lawn crew “just” stared me up and down, and never got physical, but women are not objects. Women should never be made to feel unsafe, or uncomfortable by any “man”. She doesn’t ask for it with what she wears. Men need to learn to respect women.

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