Fury of the Day – “Women Have Come A Long Way!”

by Liz Heather in

In the context of talking about how men and women are each treated in society, I heard someone say this the other day and I keep thinking about it. Every time I hear it said aloud, it stays with me for a few days. Mainly because after it’s said, everyone around that person usually agrees with the thought and then moves on.

Am I the only one who wants to scream "HOW?!" at these people? Is it just me who thinks this is an insane statement? There are hundreds of daily reminders that show me that women haven’t come very far at all and I feel like, if anything, we’re in a weirder place now. There are tons of specifics I could get into, but the main one on my mind right now is this illusion of equality that we all seem to think is in full effect (in the media, specifically). 

When I see a billboard of Nicki Minaj’s full ass hanging out next to a billboard of Kanye West in a buttoned up fucking TRENCHCOAT, am I supposed to think this is normal? We’re really working towards equality here? I’m not saying that it’s wrong of her to choose to present herself that way, I’m saying that it’s fucked up that I’m supposed to think it’s normal and not give it a second thought. The fact that he’s presented in a manner where he can be judged for his talent and she’s presented in a way for you to rank her fuckability – that’s fucking terrible to me. I’m not saying she’s awful, I’m saying this wild notion of “women coming so far” is complete fucking garbage to me when examples like this one completely surround our lives. Especially when we’re living in a time when we’re constantly being told that a woman’s worth depends almost completely on her exterior. Is that a dramatic statement to make? I really don’t think it is. If she had some pants on in that shot, would her album have still hit number one? I don’t fucking know, but it’s shitty that I have to wonder that.

Another thing I hate is that if you have an opinion on public figures who show a lot of skin, you get put into one of two categories.
1.    The prudes, who think showing any kind of skin is a sin. 
2.    The women who shout things like, “She looks fucking good! What’s the problem?”

I don’t want to be in either of those groups, I don’t belong in them! I love the way that I look and it doesn’t harm me that she’s showing anything off. I don’t care if she looks good or if she looks shitty, why do we have to be talking about how she looks at all? Shouldn’t we be more concerned about why objectifying yourself has become the new social norm? 

The fact that the majority of us have somehow been tricked into thinking that a woman in the public eye who shows off the majority of her body consistently is somehow “empowered” and “strong” blows my fucking mind. Yeah, of course, anybody can do whatever the fuck they want – but if that’s the logic here then where the hell are the strong, powerful men with their dicks hanging out? Why have I never seen Jay-Z’s chest?! Why aren’t those photos shoved down my throat? That’s not the culture, I get it. My point is that you can be strong and empowered and not photoshop a thigh gap onto your latest Instagram photo. You are not “helping women”. 

Another thing I hate? The argument of, “Sex sells.” Once I get going on these opinions and someone says that? Conversation over. And not because I want the conversation to be over, but because that’s the little “Well, whaddya gonna do about it?” answer that we’re all so comfortable with hearing. Yeah, it’s true. Yeah, this is the world we live in. I feel like there was a time when that statement made people more mad, but now? It’s so fucking commonplace there’s no emotional attachment to it anymore. As though we’ve somehow become beings who have fully accepted that women are only valuable based on how good they look and that’s just the way it is

Someone please tell me what justifies someone classifying women as having “come so far.” Is it because we’re allowed to vote now, is that when this argument started? ‘Cause that was almost a hundred fucking years ago and it wasn’t a “women’s issue” then, it was a human rights issue. People don’t approach black people and congratulate them on how far they’ve come because there’s an understanding that THAT WOULD BE RIDICULOUS. It’s an insanely condescending statement to make towards anyone and should infuriate everyone. 

We have not fucking come very far at all.