Hello my name is Joe. I’m writing this essay you’re reading right now. Before I get into the meat and potatoes of it, let me tell you briefly how my day went yesterday. Yes there’s a point to it all so hang tight for a bit. Yesterday I woke up and took my nephew to school. I got out of bed, threw on a pair of sweats and only wore my favorite Dodger hoodie with some slip on shoes and we were off. I didn’t have time to throw on a shirt. I walked him to the entrance and then came back home. I jumped in the shower and was out in less then five minutes. I went to the gym to do some back workouts along with some deadlifts. Saw my friend Kathy there at the gym. I gave her a hug before she left. I even filmed for her doing an exercise. Left the gym later to take my father to eat some sushi. The service was good. Every time I raised my hand in the server’s direction, they came right away. Dropped off my dad and came home. Ran into my next door neighbor of our condo. I went over to talk about whiskey, meal prepping and his upcoming vacations. I then came inside my place and watched my favorite baseball team the Dodgers win a playoff game! Afterwards I drove to Starbucks and then walked around the park drinking coffee as the sun had gone down before ending my day. Honestly, wouldn’t you have wanted your day off to go as smoothly as mine did? To all you men out there, that was one of the most relaxing days don’t you agree? The thing is it could have gone horribly wrong. You’re thinking, “Joe what are you talking about? Was that coffee spiked with something? How can this be?” Well here is my point, we live in man’s world. It is designed for us and by us and not women. I already got your attention with my perfect day, but soon I’ll get your attention on how it could have gone wrong and does go wrong for women.
Let’s start with my clothing. Do you remember how I told you I was wearing sweats with only a hoodie to drop off my nephew? Well that hoodie wasn’t zipped up all the way. In fact it was about a third of the way down. The same length if I were to have worn a t-shirt underneath. The was already warming up and I wanted to feel comfortable. Now put yourself in the position of a woman. Do you think a woman could have walked her child to the front gate similarly? She would have to walk alongside other walking parents doing the same task. She would have to walk past the campus aides guiding buses and people dropping off their kids in cars. We men have that luxury. Not a soul glanced at me. Nobody looked me up and down signalling their disapproval. I blended in with the other parents. I could have tied my hoodie around my waist and gone for a jog and nothing would have happened. Women can’t go for a run topless. They always have to dress by a different set of standards. They have to dress what is deemed appropriate.
Going back to my story of my perfect day. So you read how I went to the gym after I dropped off my nephew. Well to do deadlifts, I wore leggings underneath my shorts. This way my shins wouldn’t get scrapped. Do you know who else was wearing leggings? My friend Kathy was. She had on blue leggings with an athletic type sports bra and a hat. All her clothing was the same blue and matched. I enjoy being around Kathy. She’s a hardcore lifter. She has a solid physique and gets a lot of attention for it. When I went to say hello, she was seated on the edge of the workout area doing shoulder presses. She likes being on the edge to get away from people. She noticed that men will start doing random exercises near her just to look at her closer. Kathy told me that it makes her feel uncomfortable. She wants to workout with some space so she can enjoy lifting more. It’s her private time. She has also shown me messages men send to her saying that her outfits are “too sexy” and they can “take her out for a wild time.” Did I mention that Kathy is married? Not only does she like to workout for herself but her husband too. Let’s make this simple, how would you feel gentlemen if your wife is trying her best to look good for you and she’s being harassed?
What you’ve read so far may seem like a lot especially if you’re a man. The moral of the story is to get you thinking. Well I did a bit of thinking myself while eating sushi. As I raised my hand for my server’s attention throughout the meal, I wondered if she would have a hard time finding higher paying jobs throughout her life. According to a study by Georgetown University, “Even when women are engaged in the same high-paying careers as men, the wage gap is still evident. The fact that the gap remains demonstrates that lingering historical and cultural biases still exist. For example, more than 73 percent of CEOs are men, and they tend to promote other men.” The odds to succeed in life are heavily stacked against her yet possible. Prominent names such as JK Rowling and Oprah Winfrey are women who have managed to accrue wealth and become billionaires in a world controlled by men. If the server was your daughter, wouldn’t you want her to push onward?
After dropping off my dad I came home. I was beginning to walk to my front door when I ran into my neighbor George. He invited me inside to say hello to his partner Roman. Roman was cooking and soon the conversation drifted towards nutrition then to whiskey somehow! George even brought a bottle of Jack Daniels. After a few minutes of good chatting I excused myself so I could go watch the Dodgers play on t.v. As a man I felt fine up there. I felt in complete control of the situation. It doesn’t always go this way for females. According to a study by the University of Nebraska, Females are generally murdered by people they know. In 64% of female homicide cases in 2007, females were killed by a family member or intimate partner. If a female were to have been in my shoes, in the back of her mind she’s already looking at possible exits just in case a situation were to arise. She always has to be alert where as men we don’t.
As the Dodger game had ended, my food coma from the sushi I ate earlier was in full effect. I needed to wake up so I could finish some class work. Immediately I drove to Starbucks and then a park down the street from it. I walked around drinking my coffee in hopes of getting it into my system as quickly as possible. The entire time my eyes were glued to my cell only to look up so I wouldn’t bump into anything. There were numerous dark areas I passed by where a woman would have been on edge. The Journal of Interpersonal Violence did a study. According to the 1996 National Violence Against Women Survey in the United States, one in six women has been a victim of sexual assault or rape,compared to 1 in 33 men. The survey also estimated than more than 300,000 women are raped every year in the United States. Those numbers are 22 years old but still paint an accurate picture of what happens now. Something else happens after these incidents to women. An important factor that discourages rape victims from reporting is the non-supportive reactions that they often encounter after disclosing the assault. Research findings indicate that rape victims may experience post rape trauma as a result of these non supportive reactions. Non supportive reactions? Who would ridicule a woman for having the strength to come forward? Enter Donald Trump who recently made fun of Christine Blasey Ford for re-telling her story what happened to her with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh many years ago. Trump stated, “How did you get home? I don’t remember. How’d you get there? I don’t remember. Where is the place? I don’t remember. How many years ago was it? I don’t know.” Christine claims that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her. Not only did she have to re-tell her story, she re-lived it. It is a man’s world when a woman can not come forward to defend herself when she is mocked by the president. It’s a man’s world when your friend has to worry about what she’s wearing because some men lack self control and discipline. When your mom has to look over her shoulder at night as she walks to her car alone. She could be your sister, your girlfriend, or your wife. One thing is certain is that they’re always aware when they step out of the house. After everything I’ve told you gentlemen, do you think women live in an equal world?
Catalano, Shannan; Smith, Erica; Snyder, Howard; and Rand, Michael, “Female Victims of Violence” (2009). U.S. Department of Justice Publications and Materials. 7.https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1006&context=usjusticematls
Gadalla, M. Tahany, and Suarez, Eliana. “Stop Blaming the Victim: A Meta-Analysis on Rape Myths.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence , 2010.http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.456.9914&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Women Can’t Win: Despite Making Educational Gains and Pursuing High-Wage Majors, Women Still Earn Less than Men, 2018.https://vtechworks.lib.vt.edu/bitstream/handle/10919/84002/EducationalGainsWomenEarnLess.pdf?sequence=1