This weekend I finally fully understood what the phrase “objectification of women” actually meant. I have been a woman my entire life and never fully understood this phrase.
But today, it fully clicked. It started with getting shushed by a man, basically, when I posted this article published by The Huffington Post on my Facebook page. Mind you, this was a “friend”. His comments literally left me baffled and without a response. I understand not everyone agrees with abortion, but honestly I cannot fathom where he gets his belief on his other points. I had to share somewhere.
I wished another woman would step in and blast him. I knew it would fall on deaf ears, but I didn’t know how to explain why he was wrong. But after watching the this TedX video, I understand why they didn’t and I understand why I didn’t.
I have observed silenced female role models my entire life. And when they weren’t silenced, they were in supporting roles discussing someone else’s ideas. And holy shit, I realized that I have fallen right into those footsteps. Thirty-nine years of existence as a woman were summed up more tangibly than I had ever felt when Soraya Chemaly mentioned her article, “10 Words Every Girl Should Learn“. Those 10 words are:
I just said that.
Stop interrupting me.
No explanation needed.
I literally feel the need to say the first two sentences every single day. It doesn’t matter if it’s to my husband, a male colleague or a friend of either sex; I feel it. Now that I have a way to express the feelings of over explanation, I probably will use the third phrase more often as well.
Objectification was such a big word that was difficult for me to understand. Soroya explained well that it’s more that we are silenced because there is an “inherent bias” that women do not have knowledge. We even grow up thinking that way. I forget often that I do “know” information and valuable information at that. I am smart and have a lot to offer. I am often dismissed though and I get tired of not being listened to and literally just shut up. I question my ability and knowledge often and especially if someone else has a louder voice or seems more knowledgeable. I know many women that seem to behave similarly. I wonder how many husbands and brothers and dads fully understand that the women in their lives feel this way. Would it change the way they act?
I’m not sure what to do with this information at this point. I needed to put it on paper. I’m sure there is more to come. It’s all part of my journey out of the rat race….