There's quite a big issue that I've wanted to write about for quite a long time but I've never really known how because it's quite a big thing that I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle yet and that's gender equality. I still don't think I'm fully ready to discuss the whole subject in full depth but I experienced something very recently which has both riled and inspired me. So go grab yourself a brew because this is going to be a bloody long post.
Just quickly before I start, I don't want anything I say to be construed as attention seeking or show off-y because I certainly don't see it like that but I fear, if read wrong, it could be seen in that way. But honestly, I wish these things didn't happen, there is no way I'd 'show off' about them as I have been accused of whilst trying to discuss this topic before.
Yesterday, I was walking to college wearing a proper winter coat, shirt and jumper, mid-length floaty skirt, thick tights and boots- an outfit that is in no way provocative (not that the provocativeness should have any impact on the situation, but some may argue that it does). During the short 15 minute walk, three people in three different vehicles found it their place to show their appreciation with a loud beep of their horn and some vile comment shouted out the window and I'm absolutely furious about it. Who are they to think that it's appropriate to honk their horn at teenage girls who already feel pretty insecure? And what exactly do they get from doing it? They're driving too quickly to see my reaction so they don't know if they've embarrassed/annoyed me and it's hardy like I'm going to jump into the back of their van and we'll live happily ever together.
I was once told that I should feel proud, that I should take it as a compliment and maybe I should. Y'know, what isn't complimentary about some man I don't know and who I'm never going to see again, completely intimidate me on a day I don't feel particularly secure anyway and make me feel insanely self conscious that my outfit isn't of an appropriate nature for a day in college?
I think what gets to me even more is now, whenever a white van goes past and I'm walking alone, I automatically brace myself for a loud, degrading beep and some vile, harassing comment and it's not fair on those who drive a white van for a living and who aren't a misogynistic prick. It angers me how perfectly respectful, decent human beings are being given labels because of a handful of idiots who can't seem to keep their seedy opinions to themselves.
There's a fairly high chance that I'm going to be called uptight or told to just shut up and put up with it. But I won't. Because I still remember the first time it happened to me when I was much younger and it completely messed up my head for a good couple of weeks. So if I can stop one person from beeping their horn at a young, vulnerable girl or let one young, vulnerable girl know that it's not their fault and they shouldn't feel ashamed or self-conscious, then I'll feel like I've done a good job and that'll make me happy ^.^
Thanks for reading this far! It really does mean a lot and I appreciate it so much <3
Hope you have a lovely day and are enjoying the Winter so far!