At a time when women can have great careers, raise a family and share the same rights as men it seems like we have it all. This is the age of powerful females, singers like Lana del Ray are showing that we can be sexy creatures and that is okay, while cross training is becoming a huge workout among women who are being encouraged to gain muscle and show off their strength. Yeah it seems like this is the best time to be a women – and I’m sure it is – but today I want to talk about something that I am slowly coming to realize, it kind of still sucks being a female.
Disagree with me if you want, but for me being a girl still has a lot of drawbacks. When I was living in New Zealand I had all those typical brushes with sexist dorks. As I am a chesty girl they usually involved something really witty like ‘are those real?’ or ‘can I put a dollar in your cleavage.’ Really awesome guys. These were brushed off by me, I mean what girl doesn’t get sick leers or comments from drunk losers? But when I started working full-time that is when shit got real.
I worked in a supermarket for years to put myself through uni and unfortunately I worked the late Thursday and Friday nights which meant I saw some drunk people. As you know I can decide if those people are too drunk and choose not to serve them alcohol. So one night when I saw a guy fall asleep on the floor, then stand up and try to buy a bottle of wine I said no. His response? Slap my ass and say ‘are you sure about that baby?’ This made me MAD!! Of course I kicked him out but all I could think was, if a male told him no he would have just left straight away. Being a girl sucks.
Things got worse in China, a country with zero respect towards women. Plus as I was a foreigner it was generally assumed that I was a prostitute. I had my chest grabbed by Chinese men, was rubbed up against in public buses (the public would see it and just ignore, thanks China!) and established a fear of taxing. I had to taxi to work everyday by myself and I hated it, the driver would stare at me and occasionally try to rub my leg. Yeah in China women are just objects.
Now these are all sexual things I know but I feel like it is still socially acceptable to stare at a women in public and make a comment about her that she really doesn’t want. It’s that whole thing of how men can sleep around and they are awesome, but if a girl does it she is a ‘whore’ (I am not condoning sleeping around for women, just pointing that out). Likewise if a guy gets drunk in public it’s fine but when a girl does it she seems tragic.
In Korea I have come to look at my role in the workplace a lot more. Korea is an awesome country, living it, but they do have a more traditional attitude towards women. I think it was best described by my friend who compared it to the 50s. A Korean women lives at home until she marries, and she better marry! Once she hits 28 if she is still single then all is lost and she is past her prime. They take this very seriously, most couples will not live together before marriage and when they are dating girls are expected to act like cute innocent creatures. The idea of embracing their sexuality is not common one, and as for working out and finding the power of their bodies – forget it!
Regardless, women do work in Korea and have good careers, but in my experience the way I was treated at work was awful. Everything I said was ignored by my Korean co-workers, but if my boyfriend said the exact same thing they praised him. I was/am totally overlooked at times so that my opinion doesn’t matter. I have tried to be much more assertive at work but it seems to be a fine art – if we stand our ground and express our opinions until they are hear, then we are just looked at as a bitch. Whereas a man would be looked at as a strong leader.
In my experience, being a woman is awesome and we are in a fantastic place in the world right now. However as I look around I do at times feel like the weaker sex, like people don’t take me as seriously at times and feel that it is okay to look at me like an object. Whatsmore I feel pressure to dress a certain way and wear makeup at times, while it is totally okay for men to roll out of bed and throw on dirty clothes before heading out the door. I want it to change, and I hope that it does. But for now I guess we just have to try our best to prove ourselves as more than just that ‘blonde girl with the nice/sexy/fat/average body.