I recently had a conversation about what it’s like to be a woman, or, perhaps more accurately, what it’s like to be me, an anatomical female who also identifies as a woman. (I believe sex and gender are NOT inextricably linked, but that’s a post for another time). This conversation was about the ways in which I am not privileged.
I am not privileged in that I cannot walk alone at night and feel safe at the same time; no, not even in my tiny Midwestern town.
I am not privileged in that I make less money than a man who has the exact same job.
I am not privileged in that I am constantly evaluated on my appearance instead of my ability.
I am not privileged in that there is at least a 25% chance that I will be raped someday, and about a 3% chance that my rapist will go to prison. In other words, out of every 100 rapes, ninety -seven rapists go free.
I am not privileged in that if I am assaulted, people will ask what I was wearing, if I was drinking, or if I really wanted it. Nobody asks to get raped, you callous assholes.
I am not privileged in that when I speak out in the same way a man does, I am called a bitch.
I am not privileged in that if I don’t laugh at a rape joke, I am branded a bitch, asked what my problem is, or told to lighten up. Rape isn’t funny. Stop making jokes about it.
I am not privileged in that strangers- men who I don’t even know- believe they have a right to my body. I was maybe twelve the first time a boy smacked my ass. I was livid then and I’m still livid when it happens today. And I am not privileged in that if I respond to these violations of my body, there’s a good chance I’ll get called a bitch, a slut, a whore- or worse, that I’ll be at greater risk for further assault.
I am not privileged in that I can’t even go to the damn grocery store without some creep trying to make a pass.
I am not privileged in that the government won’t get out of my uterus, and thinks I am slut for wanting birth control to be accessible…yet Viagra was funded by the government for years.
I am not privileged in that if I have a male friend who is nice to me, my friendship is not enough for him. Apparently the reward for common human decency is supposed to be sex. The friendzone does not fucking exist and my friendship is not a damn consolation prize.
I am not privileged in that I still have to fight to be treated like a human being and not just a walking pair of breasts.
I am not privileged in that I even have to explain the plethora of ways in which I am not privileged.
Believe me, this is barely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There are so many other things that happen on a daily basis because of my gender that piss me off to no end that I could talk about, but I’ll stop for now.
And, oh yeah- the person I had this conversation with? He sounded appalled and surprised at the same time. Someone did that to you? Yes. This is constant. This happens all the damn time. And this is why I need a change in our society.