International Day Of The Girl: Let's Stop Sexist Rhetoric
It Takes Courage to Speak Up
“Grab them by the p---y,” Trump said in 2005. “You can do anything.”
"Nobody has more respect for women than I do," says Trump in 2016.
How many victims have spoken up about being sexually assaulted and then either been denigrated for it or ridiculed?
How many have been told to return to the kitchen and be happy with what they have?
How many girls, with dreams of going on to become an electrician, a mason, an engineer, have had to fight hard past sexism in order to realize their dreams?
Too many. That's the problem.
While all men should not be vilified, as not all are the problem, those who engage in regular sexist practices should be seriously looked at as the problem.
Today is International Day of the Girl, and there are still far too many girls worldwide who are shoved to the side for a variety of reasons simply because they are women.
Certainly, there are also women who do not help in this regard. Joy Behar, host from The View, referred to the women that were allegedly sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton as "tramps." How is that going to help further the perception of women as people who should have an equal voice at any table?
Being a woman is about far more than how a story about sexual assault is received, though. While many women - too many - are blamed for their role in any sort of attack, there is a prevalent sexist rhetoric at play that too many have bought into for too long.
Only women can sew, for instance, or engage in such pastimes as knitting. Rosey Grier, a former American football player from the 1970s, did needlepoint regularly, and he was about as hulking a figure you could get on the football field.
Mellody Hobson, investment guru and George Lucas' wife, is perhaps proof positive that we can take the old sexist rhetoric and stuff it somewhere in the dark where it belongs. She started from effectively nothing; she was raised by a single mother and fought her way to the top of her academics where she was ultimately recruited by Harvard, and now, she effectively leads one of the hottest investment firms in the United States. She's blown away almost every single stereotype - because she didn't buy into the "I'm a girl, so I'm stuck with being a certain way" rhetoric that has been so prevalent in North American society for years.
Take Malala Yousafzai, likely one of the biggest stereotype-busters that kids today could maybe connect to. In Malala's world, there was a literal fight to save her education, simply because she is a girl. She nearly lost her life for it. In a world where the Taliban continued to put an end to women's rights and their right to an education, Malala spoke out, with her father's unending support. She ended up shot, with her features permanently damaged, but not her spirit. She's gone on to become a Nobel Prize winner and one of the biggest women's rights advocates on the planet - and she's still a teenager!
Don't Give Up
Women's Rights are Part of Human Rights
Every day, girls are fighting to have their voices heard and taken seriously, whether they are a victim of sexual assault or are in danger of having their rights taken away. It could be something simple, like dreams of becoming an engineer or an astronaut, and just a desire to truly make it happen.
Think of the young girls you know in your lives. Have you ever asked them what they dream of? What they want to become? The answers might very well surprise you; some may say that they want to be princesses, while others see themselves as the director of the next Hollywood blockbuster. Who's to stop them? Who are various societal sectors to say, "I'm sorry, but you can't have a voice because you're a woman."?
Whether the girls live in North America or abroad, rights for all girls should be supported. There are far too many who have been told they are "less than" simply because they are not boys, and that is repugnant. There are girls even in North American society who are told they cannot pursue traditional male careers or even hobbies because "girls don't do that."
This is not to say that girls who choose to stay home and raise their children should somehow be demonized. Far from it, but they should still have that right to choose. Why shouldn't we allow them the dignity of such a choice?
To do otherwise would be terrible for human rights as a whole.