There’s one thing I’ve noticed from all the different articles we’ve read in this class and discussed that was indirectly included in them, but said crystal clear in this particular article.
If we are found insensitive, we may fear we have no redeeming traits at all and perhaps are not real women.
When men do something that is considered feminine, such as crying or having feelings instead of being big and strong all the time, they’re called sissies or ‘girly’. But, when a girl behaves in a way slightly less feminine, she’s not considered to be masculine or to even be female anymore; she turns into a nobody and a nothing.
I found this article really interesting to read, because it was really relevant to me and my life. Oppression isn’t something that was done a lot in the past and has gotten better over the years; it still goes on today even in the most modern and contemporary nations.
I remember a moment when I was really angry and I had this close guy friend who always said the same thing whenever I was really mad about something – “What’s with the attitude?” or “Watch it with the attitude.” and even, “I’m sick of your attitude.” And it didn’t matter how many times I explained it to him, he didn’t get it. What attitude? That wasn’t attitude. That was me experiencing real anger. And mind you, I’m not someone who gets really mad in public often; I keep it inside and now I know why, because of that very response right there.
It’s as if all males and females have very specific roles and very specific feelings to go with those roles. He’s the big, angry man and I’m the small, timid girl. If I were to so much as raise my voice, I’m seen as a problem. If I were to have some very strong opinions on something, controversial or not, I’d immediately be threatened with labels like “frigid,” “uptight,” “man-hater,” and “cocktease.”
It’s like women are always trapped and there’s never an easy way out; every step they take is considered a wrong move. Another personal experience I went through is where at point if I spend the weekend wearing the same pajamas and keeping my hair up in a bun, I am told by my own father, that I should dress up a little, put on “something nice for a change”. But, if he were to see me wearing lipstick and high heels, sudden it’s like I’m committing a major crime. There’s just no way to win. And there’s no way to cheat or to even get extra help, because if you were to ask what exactly the right answer here was, you’d just be condemned for being a female and not knowing.
The second chapter or part of the article was my entire life growing up. I was immediately transported back to my early childhood year as soon as I saw these two lines:
“Why can’t I go to the park; you let Jimmy go!”
“Because it’s not safe for girls.”
For many, many years I was kept locked up in the house under lock and key, away from “dangerous” places for the sole reason that I was born a female. Boys are able to take care of themselves, stand up for themselves, fight back and have complete control of the situation – that’s all I’ve ever heard coming from my mom’s mouth whenever I’ve asked why I couldn’t go to this event or that. Now that I’m older and I understand better, I don’t completely disagree with her. She was right in trying to keep me protected, but by telling me those things, she only instilled in these fears that the world will never be a safe place for girls; it will always be a man’s world.
A question that was constantly repeated through this whole article – “Can men cry?” makes a good point. The only answer I have for that question is: if a man isn’t capable of crying or shouldn’t be allowed to, then he shouldn’t have been given tear ducts or a heart.
All people of all shapes and sizes, skin colors and ethnicity were made in the same exact way by the same exact person – God, whether everyone really believes in him or not. The only difference between them are the key body parts; other than that, pretty much everything on the inside is the same. So, matching up a body part with a specific feeling shouldn’t be the way to go. That should be what makes things so different and difficult and cause a term such as “oppression” to exist and make things all the more punishing.