To be a woman means to be strong.
If you are anything but you will be labeled and put into categories.
"She's so emotional"
"She's so quiet"
"She's so sensitive"
If you are too good at anything people will talk about how:
"She's too smart"
"She's too kind"
"She's too caring"
As a woman growing up, one must learn that the world is unfair. We are told that life is unfair without any explanation. We are told to be sweet and to never walk alone. You begin to be told that you're "doing pretty well for a woman." As a girl you are told to avoid being bossy, demanding, or assertive.
As a woman, you are told to cover up. We are told to never show our shoulders, collarbones, much less a knee. "It will distract the boys if you don't cover up."
As a woman, you are told to boost a man's confidence. Never leave a man feeling unwanted or ignored. Make sure he knows you care. Make sure they feel important. Make sure you put his needs in front of your own, and always be there when you are needed.
As a woman, you are told you are limited. You are lacking in opportunity in comparison to your male counterparts. You won't make as much money as a man working the same job. But your told "life is unfair, get over it."
As a woman, you are told to stay quiet. If you tell anyone you'll be labeled as a slut. If you tell anyone, he might hurt you. As a woman you feel vulnerable in the worst places. Never walk alone at night, never go to a bar alone, be cautious about everything you do. You don't want to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Almost no one will believe you.
As a woman, I say it's time to stand up for our rights. This is the time for us to destroy the stereotypes and labels.
It's time to band together. As women we are human beings, we deserve to live without constant fear.
As a woman, I have had it with accused assaulters and abusers getting away with anything because no one believes a woman. Society believes she's begging for attention; she can't possibly be telling the truth, right? I'd rather believe a woman about her past experiences rather than just shake it off and tell myself she's lying. I know if I was in that situation I'd want people to believe me.
As someone that spent five years of my life fighting for victim rights, most of these women, and sometimes men, are telling the truth.
As someone who has had friends and others come to them about their traumatic experiences with abuse and sexual assault, it's safe to say someone who has experienced this is often times afraid to come to anyone with their problem. They are afraid no one will believe them, or people will blame them instead.
It doesn't matter what they were wearing, it doesn't matter what they were doing. Everyone should have the ability to live freely. As a woman I want to live a life that lets me not have to worry about the temptations of men.
If anyone is experiencing abuse or has been through assault, I am here for you. You deserve to feel safe.
RAINN: Call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.