Fighting Gender Inequality, From Both Sides

Fighting Gender Inequality, From Both Sides

In honor of International Women's Month.

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When we think of female empowerment, our minds automatically go to inspirational figures who are taking pivotal steps towards gender equality. Women such as Emma Watson, who was appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in 2014 and advocates the #HeForShe campaign. We think of the women in powerful positions who are constantly fighting for a level playing field between males and females. I have always looked up to these figures, hoping one day I can be as courageous as them to stand up for what's right.

But we can't all be UN Ambassadors. What we can do, is each play our individual role in breaking down the barriers between genders. Emma Watson rallies for men as well as women. She believes gender stereotypes on both sides are just as harmful to the entire picture of equality. "If men don't have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won't feel compelled to be submissive. If men don't have to control, women won't have to be controlled." Those words have stuck with me. I am immensely saddened when I come across a man who is so obviously trying to fit into the role he has been taught is right for him, who is embarrassed to be seen feeling emotion or showing a moment of weakness.

Who decided that boys don't get to feel as deeply as girls?

I am just as happy to have a heartfelt conversation with my male friends as I am my female friends. I often confide in them for emotional support and advice, or even just for someone to vent to, yet time and time again I'm told that this is wrong. It's great to have guy friends but I should be mostly turning to my girlfriends. Guy friends are just there for fun, right!?

This is so wrong, and it's this mentality that has led to suppression — both for men and women. It creates the idea that men shouldn't be soft and mushy and want to talk about their feelings and that women should only do just that. It's the outdated ideal we need to move away from. There should be no difference in emotional capacities between genders. We're all human!

I also strongly believe in breaking down our feminine stereotypes. As I was growing up, I remember being told to sit "like a lady." I had a bit of a tendency to laze around with my legs apart — "manspreading," if you will. Geez, even that word makes a certain way we sit gender specific! I used to complain about being dressed in skirts and dresses because I couldn't climb trees as easily as my friends who were boys. I loved going to the hardware store with my dad and spent the weekends at skate parks on my scooter or bike (I was a very cool kid). I wasn't even aware that a lot of my habits were seen as slightly embarrassing. Apparently, it's not normal for a girl to eat as much as a "growing teenage boy," or to have a pretty delayed interest in make-up and fashion.

As I grew up I realized I was seen as pretty different at times and spent most of my teen years trying so hard to suppress my natural instincts. I started wearing make-up and taking an interest in how I looked. I swapped the bikes for magazines and nail polish, and I quickly became very self-conscious about what others thought of me (particularly boys). I hated that they didn't see me as one of the "pretty girls." For a while I went overboard and forced out the materialistic, "girly" side of myself — it wasn't a good look.

I've now grown to despise this ladylike idea. It's like I'm going through a late rebellious phase, except this time I'm rebelling against a societal idea that I can't act rough. I'm embracing my dirty, chewed nails, my messy hair and my baggy clothes. I'm unapologetically "manspreading" on a daily basis.

I want to break down all the barriers that categorize men and women into their stereotypes, so we are each free to live exactly how we want to. I don't want anyone to have to think about what they should be wearing or should be doing, to feel like their true personality is being suppressed. I want to be unashamedly unladylike. Stuff everyone's expectations!

This International Women's Month lets focus on celebrating the things that make us so unlike our gender stereotypes. Man, it feels good to act like a man!

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I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals

It is OK for me to not want to be equivalent with a man.

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To start off, I am not writing this to bash feminists or get hate messages. I am simply writing this to state why I do not perceive myself as a feminist.

March is International Women's Month and that is what has got me thinking about how I view myself as a young woman in the 21st century. I enjoy every day getting to soak up the world as a young lady, particularly in the South.

If you know me, then you know that I love and utterly adore Jesus. He is so perfect. He is everything. He is my whole life. Some people might say that I am a "Bible-thumper" or someone who has had too much Kool-aid and maybe I am, but I know who my Creator is and that He died for me, and that is all that matters.

In my young age, I loved to just sit in church with my parents and absorb all that God would deliver. As I have grown up, I have ventured off and joined a church that is different than my parents, so the responsibility falls more on me, but I love that. Since this era of independence began, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking ownership of my faith.

I spend a lot of time chatting with God, worshipping Him in all kinds of ways, and just diving deeper into His Word. Through all of this growth as a Christian, I have learned a lot, but something I have learned is a concept that some may not agree with, which does not surprise me.

I do not believe God meant for women and men to be equal.

There, I acknowledged the elephant in the room.

It is a shocker, I know, but I have some Biblical evidence to back up this belief that I have.

Let us begin in Genesis. God created man and then he created woman. This was two separate occurrences and order is key. He created Adam and then Eve.

Jesus treated women with grace and kindness, do not get me wrong. I mean just look at how He treated the woman at the well, the one who used all of her expensive perfume to cleanse His feet and not to mention His own biological mother! He has a truly unique place in his heart for women, but He also has special intentions for us in the world and in the family setting.

We are to submit to our husbands.

We are to be energetic, strong, and a hard worker.

We are to be busy and helpful to those in need.

We are to be fearless.

All of this is explicitly laid out by God in Proverbs 31.

We are not to be equal to our male counterparts. Jesus does not lay out the Proverbs 31 man, but He rather lays out the Proverbs 31 woman.

A husband or man is to be the head of the household as Christ is to the church.

A man is to love a woman so deeply that represents how he loves himself.

A man is to leave his father and mother.

Women and men are not equal in God's eyes, but they each represent Him in their own ways that the other needs.

If we were all equal, we would not need one another and therefore we would not need God. I am so thankful that we were not created equal. I am so thankful that God is so great that He could not just create only man or woman to represent His image. He is so perfect.

So, you see I am not a feminist, and it is OK.

It is acceptable for me to have this belief that God intended for men to lead women. It is also okay for people to have differing opinions. Writing this was not easy, but I know that not all people agree.

To feminists and those that are not, you are allowed to believe whatever you wish but have evidence to back it up.

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If You Support This New Abortion Bill, I Don't Know You

Bob mistakes the new bills being passed as being pro-life. Be smart. Don't be Bob.

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Dear every woman and every person with a uterus, every person with a daughter, wife, or sister:

I'm sorry.

There never should have come a day where women feel trapped in their own bodies, forced to live lives that they can't. The Disney Princesses never could have prepared you for this chain around your neck and rope around your hands, being led by the men of your life as well as those in the government.

I'm sorry you're living in a messed up situation and a messed up country.

Welcome to America, where we boast about greatness with nothing to back it up.

Welcome to the country where we yell about progress but leap back centuries.

Women are forced to shout from rooftops, streets, and stress on social media. Even if there is a difference of opinion on whether pro-life or pro-choice is better, these laws being passed are neither. They are pro-punishment. They are anti-women.

These laws are the beginning of a horrible story, let me paint that picture for you.

Orphanages are overflowing, even more than they were years before. No politician could understand what was going on. Every child is a gift from God but their horrible mothers can't see it that way. What do you mean they should have control of their bodies?

No.

Women are incubators stuck in a world of black and white. There is no grey area. They were given rights and it was too much, they had to be stripped away. Women are mothers. Caregivers only. No doctor, therapist, retail worker, manual laborer is a woman. They couldn't handle it.

Women are useful for pleasure and birthing, nothing more.

They move in repetitive motion, forced into a life they never wanted and can do nothing about. They marry, get pregnant, have a child and raise it with the amount of love for a bug because it was never their choice. Their mothers died in childbirth because having them was too much for their bodies but couldn't get an abortion.

The funeral for their sister who was forced to carry her rapists' baby is the day after next. She had committed suicide. She was too mentally and psychologically scarred. The baby will grow up without a mother. She was too young, only 14.

The women cry in silence. It's a man's world and they're just living in it, not allowed to express themselves or save themselves from the torture of a known and unwanted future.

A woman was sentenced to prison because of a miscarriage. She cried for days without speaking because she lost her child that she loved and yet was still told that she was a murderer. That she deserved this punishment she couldn't prevent and didn't cause. She died inside that day and will likely die sooner than she should have.

Because the separation of church and state seemed to no longer matter and the women didn't matter to the men who wanted to control them all.

One girl was arrested after having a miscarriage due to her abusive husband beating her repeatedly, throwing her headfirst down a flight of stairs, kicking her in the abdomen. She felt horrible, psychically and emotionally but was relieved (on a small level) to see the blood because that meant her child would not be forced to endure the same pain as she.

These laws are not anti-abortion. They will not prevent abortion at all. The only question is how many women will die trying to get an illegal one to save their own lives, or to prevent a horrible one for their child.

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