Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Just a little rant..

When I get angry..I go on rants..and here one is for you to read. I wrote this in the summer and never shared. Here you go friends :)

What’s your notion of self-respect? As a woman, I’ve struggled with this concept throughout my life. Growing up I was always taught that a woman had to respect herself. “Treat yourself with respect”. But what does that actually mean?

As a girl I always assumed that it meant to take care of your body and nurture your growth. Whatever you think that is as a child; taking care of yourself, sleeping right, trying hard in school. As I grew older it evolved into dressing in a way that you “respect” yourself. This meant: cover yourself and don’t show skin because you’re better than that. It was the idea that showing skin meant you were making yourself look like a girl who wasn’t worth the wait, a girl who didn’t care enough about herself to save herself for marriage or not provoke the minds of men.

I’m sorry..what? If I want to wear a tank top and shorts I somehow don’t respect myself? I began to wonder when this once healthy idea of taking care of your body, eating right, exercising, doing things to benefit one’s self, all of a sudden became this paternalistic guideline of how I should dress – and that if I don’t dress properly I’m somehow not treating myself properly.

First, this misogynist bullshit needs to stop. If I’m wearing a skirt on a hot day, and your son decides to heckle at me – that’s in no way, shape or form, my fault. If I’m wearing a skirt on a hot day, it’s most likely because it’s bloody hot outside – and not because I woke up with the idea of provoking your poorly trained son. I understand that the concept of intention is important in this sort of situation. Many may ask what if the girl’s intention was to provoke the boy. Then doesn’t that make her poorly trained as well? To answer this question I ask you to think about what I’m actually saying. If a girl wears a skirt because it’s hot, and yeah maybe she thinks she looks cute in it – that is not at all her going out and heckling at a man. Does that make sense? Look, I believe in equality and if a woman was heckling a man and making him uncomfortable I would completely agree that yes, she is also poorly trained and should know that it’s inappropriate and disrespectful to objectify someone against their will. It’s also different if the girl WANTS that kind of attention. That’s not what I’m saying at all. What I am saying is that a girl shouldn’t have to think that she’s disrespecting herself if she wears a skirt, because she’s showing too much and it’s putting ideas into boy’s heads. Maybe these boys should have other ideas in their heads to begin with. She’s not poorly trained for wearing a skirt, and she’s not “looking for it” (again if she is, that’s a different story and that’s her prerogative). Your son is poorly trained for being an asshole.

Stop telling girls that purity is the be all and end all of our lives. Get real, purity doesn’t exist and doesn’t make you a better person. I don’t care what sense of purity you’re talking about but unless it’s purity of the mind it’s complete bullshit. Being a virgin doesn’t make you better than someone else. Not drinking alcohol doesn’t mean you’re a good person. These puritanical ideas of what it means to be righteous or a good person is all an illusion. Again, I’d like to stress that I’m not saying that being a virgin or alcohol-free means you’re a bad person, it doesn’t, I’m just saying that if you are either of those things, and claim that they make you a better person, I’m sorry to burst your little bubble – but they don’t. If you want to talk about being pure, let’s talk about purity of the mind. How about not judging others? How about treating everyone equally? How about all of those other things we’re supposed to do, but for some reason they’re not stressed upon? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Being pure is about having a pure mind and good intentions. You can be the entire virgin you want to be, but if getting a better job position means more to you than throwing a colleague under the bus, then no, you’re not pure and you’re not a good person. Purity doesn’t only exist in the body, and in fact in my opinion purity of the body doesn’t have anything to do with sex. Purity is eating right for your body, exercising, balancing a night out with a day at the gym, meditation; those things create purity of the body to me.

Girls need to know that we’re in control of our own lives. Respecting yourself means loving yourself enough to do what you feel is right for your own well-being. Please, don't let misogynist people make you feel bad about yourself. Be a good person, do the right thing - you'll be fine.

Twitter: @liveshiv
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  1. Too often young women let others define who they are and what their worth is. I am so glad you shared this piece Shivani! I love it:)



  2. It looks like someone needs to burst your bubble. Stop trying to impose your opinion on others. The way you present your self should reflect you, and what others think of you will also reflect YOU. You are correct, wearing revealing clothes or not being a virgin does not make you a bad person. Wear cute booty shorts and go sleep around but if you're expecting not to get attention-then you're asking for a lot more than just equality. That guy 'heckling' you isn't an 'asshole', I'm sure you would look too if you saw a man walking down the street wearing booty shorts. If your action attracts attention...then you will get attention. Simple as that, whether it's good or bad. And if you don't like receiving attention, instead of going on an ignorant tangent, why won't you make an effort to change the way you carry yourself. I'd like to see you promote your pro-sex/Alcohol analogy to you're own daughter in the future, I know I wouldn't. Purity can have a different meaning to different individuals, and you have no right to assume it as being bullshit. Your little 'rant' does not confirm your perception of equality-your addressing the matter of self respect in a manner which bashes men, different cultures and mentalities...that's not equality honey.