International Day Of The Girl: Let's Stop Sexist Rhetoric

Updated on October 19, 2016

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

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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.

Women's Rights are Human Rights

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Questions & Answers

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      • vsp55 profile image

        Marcos Vinicius 

        23 months ago from Brazil

        I don't think trump was disrespectful because he only said that because there was only another man with him, he didn't know that was being recorded.

        That's what men like to talk about, we like pussies, bitches, money, sex and things like this, and this is why as a man i know i don't have the right to judge him.

      • Kathleen Cochran profile image

        Kathleen Cochran 

        2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

        Thank you for this hub. My biggest fear for young girls today is that they will not realize how far we have come on women's issues. If they don't, they won't know how far we still have to go and that we still have to work not to go backwards.

        Last week President Obama said, at least in the military, we are no longer going to start from the premise that women can't do something. His intention is to give them the chance. Then they make it or not on their own effort. We need to start from this point on everything.

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