Why Must Women Be Shamed?

My voice is my weapon, and I feel have to use it now.

(Thanks, Bastille, for the inspiration of the first line.)

For as long as I remember, when I lived at home, if I wore an outfit that was too short or too revealing, I had to change. If I spoke my opinion to anybody and they didn’t want to hear it, I was told to shut up.

I remember people would say, “Why do you do that weird thing with the writing on your Instagram?”

I even remember recently: “All of your Instagram posts, all you do is this weird pout…”

And it wasn’t until yesterday, I spoke on an anonymous forum online – I will not mention the name – but I asked for some advice. I spoke about what I found attractive in a guy, and just because I said that I preferred a guy who’s tall, I was called shallow. I was told that I was a ‘c*nt’.

Perhaps if I thought about it literally, being compared to a vagina is quite the compliment, it has the power to bring new life. It cleans itself. It can do wonderful things. So, I took it as a compliment. 

But what enraged me, was as soon as I said what I found attractive, some idiots online made a measly attempt at humiliating me. I had expressed that I had been treated badly by a lot of men in my life, and they blamed me being ‘shallow’ for the reason I have been used, been lied to, been led on, been all sorts. Like other women. 

I was furious. They knew nothing about me, yet they had made silly and degrading assumptions about me.

While women have gradually gained more and more of the freedom that we have deserved for hundreds of years, what I can and can’t do as a woman, with my body, with my choices, with my own damn self continues to be dictated to me.

So, what? I can wear a skirt that’s short if I want to. I can do some strange writing or pout on my Instagram if I want to. It’s my choice; it’s my body. What if I told you that pouting made me feel more beautiful?

I can find whatever I want attractive (within reasonable boundaries, before my words are twisted out of my mouth before they are even spoken or written). 

Why can’t I meet a guy and sleep with him? Why must a woman receive judgement on her decisions, out of your silly, traditional judgement. 

I use my voice as a blade. As a reality. 

Let a woman be who she wants to be; let a woman wear what she wants to wear. 

It is not the time to be criticising each other, but the time to empower each other.

Do what you want, ladies. You are not criminals on trial. You are free.

Photo courtesy of Katherine Hanlon

Categories: Opinion

Issy Steventon

I'm a part time author, poet and artist (when university allows me to) and I love to express myself through creative means. I write to represent the women that feel alone, and to provide a positive environment to those who need it.

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