By Scott Bryant – Did you ever wake up thinking about something you wish would change dramatically in the world? For the past couple of mornings I’ve had something on my mind involving a subject that has been near and dear to me since my middle school days… supporting women. It’s a social cause I’m passionate about.
I grew up around women all my life and learned all that I ever needed to know about being an ally to women and women’s rights. It’s with this passion that I thought, “How great would it be if the world came to its senses and became a more empowering place for women?”
Now some may say, “Wait, hold up. Hasn’t the world already evolved and become more supportive of women?” While some areas of society have seen noticeable (but slow) improvement over the years, the scary reality is… society does — and always will — find more ways to restrict, demean, and harass women.
It’s both horrifying and sickening the outrageous pressures society puts on women: what dress size she needs to be beautiful, how she must be married and have children or she’s a failure, how she can’t have both a career and family; the list just goes on. And that’s not all, some people in society seem to glorify men who push women around with horrible sexism as if they’re some “hero of masculinity.” It makes me absolutely sick.
While some areas of society have seen noticeable (but slow) improvement over the years, the scary reality is… society does — and always will — find more ways to restrict, demean, and harass women.
A few years ago, I personally witnessed a guy (whom I’ll call John Doe) sexually harass a girl (Jane Somebody) right in front of me. It was only when I told him to take a hike and called him out that he angrily said, “It’s the truth, dude!” While much of the verbal abuse John Doe directed towards Jane Somebody is too graphic and unsettling for me to repeat, I knew right then and there that the world had not yet progressed from its misogynistic ways towards women.
I understand not all men are like this towards women, but I will always have a hard time believing men who say they support women & women’s equality when they contribute to discrimination and sexism towards women. To those men who genuinely support women, the world and I thank you. You are true men.
Like many other supporters of women, I’m fed up with society giving free passes to sexism, as if everything is “the woman’s fault.” How would the men who don’t actively support women in thought and action feel if it was their wife, girlfriend, daughter, granddaughter or niece on the receiving end of some jerk’s abuse? They’d probably want to knock his teeth out. But as far as standing up for other women? Forget about it. It’s because their own backwards, distorted truths about women seem to leave them without the balls to show sensitivity to stand up for women. The scary thing is, some of these guys believe women are only good for sex and deserve being put in their place (basically the old-fashioned “barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen” mentality I despise with a passion).
I don’t care who you are and/or if you’re a friend of mine, physical or verbal harassment towards any woman is never ever acceptable, whatsoever. There’s a reason I’ve permanently ended friendships with a grocery list of people over the years.
After all, this is not just a “man’s world,” this is a world for women too.
With that, if I could visualize the perfect world, it would be one where women of all shapes, sizes, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic levels could wake up, go out and not be afraid of being judged for their looks or lifestyle choices. A world where a woman could walk into her dream job, whether it be mechanic, astronaut, CEO, software developer, etc., and be celebrated for her achievements and promoted equally — free of discrimination or harassment. A world where a woman’s opinion is highly valued and not shot down because “she’s just a woman.” A world where women would be reminded that, “You are beautiful just as you are!”
And above all, a world where society treats women as human beings with feelings and brilliant ideas instead of just the objects of some pervert’s sexual fantasy. In a sense, I’d love to see a world where a woman, any woman, can just be herself and express herself freely.
That is all I ask. Is that so hard for the world to accommodate? Because after all, this is not just a “man’s world,” this is a world for women too.
About This Contributor
Scott Bryant is a PPC/online search marketing manager from Portland, Oregon. He loves to travel and has been a strong supporter of women and women’s empowerment for most of his life. He wrote this piece in August 2014, and we think his inspired message holds particular significance as we head into a new year. We thank Scott, an avid reader of Women You Should Know, for giving us his permission to republish it here. You can check out more of his writing on his personal blog.