Friday, 28 November 2014

Independence: Because We Deserve it

Well, hello there everybody! I hope you've all been keeping yourselves well.

I'd like to start this third blog with an issue that frustrates me pretty much every day: Women's Independence. The shocking factor is that we're in 2014, achieved the right to vote almost 100 years ago, yet still, we are not equal to men. Despite the fact not all women are victims of direct sexist attacks, it remains an underlying issue which we do need to address. Society may have become more equal since the 1950s and 60s, indeed, however is it still correct that girls are the ones who are told they need a man? Females are put under extreme amounts of pressure when really, they're perfectly capable and strong themselves.

Let's just apply this situation in a complete parallel universe: men would be made to choose between having a successful career for their personal satisfaction, with the alternative being keeping their significant other content. Imagining men as the more submissive gender seems crazy, especially with society dictating to women being equal. This should not be the case. Society needs to realise that women have nothing to prove, because every individual is unique, and their decisions should be their own, nobody else's.

As females, we're made to feel like getting a man should be our ambition in life. Even parents, who I have no doubt love and care for their daughters, do subtly hint that girls are inevitably going to end up as a "spinster" if they fail to change their ways. Telling a female that they have to change themselves for a man is completely unacceptable, and here, I speak from previous experiences, because I've been told that if I don't change my "feminist outlook" on life, I'll end up "on the shelf". I'm sorry, and I know I'm not the only female who takes on this mindset, but my lifelong ambition is not to end up relying on a man. We should be encouraged to improve the representation of women in public and political life, so I'm glad there are organisations out there that aspire to do this, such as "Women for Independence".

However, this is such a spectrum issue that it doesn't just impact women on one or two issues, it ranges throughout. One of the most recognised places for gender discrimination is in the office. In the UK, the gender pay gap stands at 15%, with women on average earning £5,000 less a year than their male colleagues. And this is the case in a westernised society. It doesn't stop here though, there are 130 million women
in the world who have been forced into having Female Genital Mutilation. One in three women will have been beaten or raped at some point in their lifetime with forty-four per cent of women in the UK having experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of fifteen. It appears as if all justice for these women has been scrapped. Baring in mind this issue is seldom discussed, we can't just dismiss this issue. Yes, males do, of course, get exposed to abuse and rape themselves, but on a larger scale, men have more of a voice than females do. We have the power to change this, and so we should!

The idea I'd like to propose is that we, as females, should be looked upon as equal. No country is free of the Sexism Plague, despite popular beliefs. Living in a westernised society enables us to do and say so much more than others - this means we have the ability to raise awareness, which we can only do if more people begin to talk about the topic and realise that gender discrimination is not tolerable. We also need to realise that choices relating to our private and personal lives are our own; they sculpt our future only. Nobody else is going to pay the consequences or reap the rewards in that sense: everyone has the right to do what makes them happy in moderation.

On that note, let's start raising awareness and changing things! Your gender does not decide what you're capable of, or your limits.

Have yourselves a lovely week and take care!

With love, Sophie.

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