Wednesday, February 4, 2015

All your words count

So this happened on my Twitter last month:

What followed was a bit of a Twitter fight wherein I mentioned what a sexist thing that was to say and she made some crack about women showing their ankles and I pushed the point and one of her friends came in and told me to stop and FINALLY, the original tweeter said something about PEOPLE helping each other, which is how it should've been from the start.

There were a couple things wrong with that post : 1. Pregnant women can still do things. The world doesn't stop because a woman is growing a baby in her belly, and we, especially women, should not pretend it does. It used to be legal to fire pregnant women just because. That's illegal now, but people still try to pull that shit. And by people, I mean men. Pregnancy sets us apart from men and it's something that they try to use against us. We are the first line in preventing men from using biology against us. 2. Men are not obligated to help women do something, especially something like scraping ice off a car. In fact, no one is actually obligated to helping anyone else do anything. More importantly, did that woman even ask for help? Making wild judgments is awful, but making sexist judgments with no basis for them is an extra special version of awful.

After everything settled and my friends and I talked about what happened, I tweeted this:

I don't know those ladies, so maybe they are completely satisfied with the inequalities dished out to them every day. Maybe they'd like to be treated like less then men because they can grow babies in their bellies. Maybe they'd like to be treated like exceptions to humanity because they are girls. I don't think so, based on the way they fought with me after my tweets. But the thing is, that tweet went out into the world and I saw it because it was retweeted by someone I follow. So more than one person thought that sentiment was ok, and it just wasn't. That sentiment was completely sexist. A pregnant woman is more than capable of scraping her windshield and men are not obligated to interfere with a woman's personal life and personal property just because she's pregnant. But the idea, just the very idea, it is so sexist.

And I'm sure, someone, or many someones, are saying, "OH for fuck's sake, who cares?" But the problem is, all your words count. Everything you say goes out into the world and either adds to a problem or doesn't. Every comment, short of shit said to your mom in the confines of your own living room, adds to the stereotypes in the world. It's not just about sexism and pregnant ladies, either. It's racist jokes or gay jokes. It's comments on abortion. It's making assumptions about someone you don't know.

And is it annoying? Sure as shit, it is! It's annoying to have to be careful of everything you say and how you say things and where. Yep, totally annoying. But either be part of the change or be part of the problem.

No comments:

Post a Comment