Advice / all

“We should know by now that it is not us, but others, who need to change,” writes VOX ATL’s Nadia Soifer.

Artwork by Nadia Soifer

The Undeclared War Against Women [ESSAY]

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Throughout history, brave, unapologetic, independent-thinking women have been turned down and oppressed. We have been called witches, burned at the stake like a mythical creature, because we pitted against each other and let men run our bodies. 

I have grown up under the shadow of young men my whole life. Within every experience I have encountered in this lifetime, there has always been a man two steps in front of me.  Whether it be playing a sport during PE, where I would not have the ball thrown to me, or having to prove my worth through my intelligence; I have always felt the need to go one step further than the males around me. 

Often, I see the issue of the discrimination of women through every walk of life. We are trained to be housewives, raised to cook and clean. Continually, the progression of women is unquestionably one of the least-progressive measures of this world. We may have spoken, written rights, but behind the surface, our rights are innumerably fictitious. We are pawns in a game of chess that can never be won. 

I have been told to “Shut up, you don’t know what you’re saying,” by angry men when advocating for something I firmly believe in  or something I outsmarted a man in.Often, we are the receiving end of abuse, whether that be emotional or physical, because we are seen as weak by many, but we are stronger than they will ever know. We are tied together by our feminine virtues, which are a strength of how we were born, the power of understanding and maternal instinct we gift to those who are hurt and down. I do not know how it was that we got painted as being under men for many centuries and told what we could and could not do with our bodies by them.

I am filled with anger for the women who came before me, those who were discredited by any individual and told to take the back seat in their endeavors. I am angry for my ancestors, who were told that their only life’s purpose was to raise and nurture a child. Adding to the fire inside of me, I am angry for the generations of women failed by the justice system, shunned for wrongdoings, even if a male counterpart was involved. We have been repelled, forced to watch the world pass us by, as we evaporate and decay. 

Further dehumanizing, I grew up a symbol of lust for men. I was supposed to be a precious, preserved flower, to be bloomed when I grew up. Each day as I grew up, the longer eyes of grown men would stray, on my growing exterior, which was not something someone as young as a child should face. I remember when I was younger, seeing women’s faces drop to ones of shame as they got catcalled by a man on the street, one of the curses of living in a woman’s body. It did not matter if they were wearing short dresses or had on a baggy display, men still saw them as a toy in which they assumed they had the right to play. People always assume it was the female’s fault when instances like these, or even worse occur. But we should know by now that it is not us, but others, who need to change. 

The sexualization and demoralization of women has created a continuous chain of saying that sexism is okay, when it is intolerable, and insufferable. We claim to be a society built upon the foundations of equality, but where exactly does the line of this supposed truth end? The moral ambiguity of this long-discussed topic is in the air today. It is deeper than just women vs. men, it is racially divided amongst this general female-male disparity. For every dollar a white man makes, a white woman makes seventy-eight cents, while a black woman makes as little as forty-eight cents. Whether we admit it or not, the movement of feminism can be backtracked as far as 1848, with little progress in society. Where is our female president? When will we be more than just a Barbie doll?

For myself and all the girls who come after me, I am filled with fear. How is it that one male dominated government decision can control my female body? I am filled with horror for the reality little girls are growing up under, their once unalienable rights slowly being taken away. Under the Constitution, we are given a right to be free. Whether that be for our body or our decisions, it is our choice to make, and that is the foundation of this country, which is now slowly washing away.

Within our government, we preach the separation of the church and state, but religious beliefs have somehow withered over the line into the state. As founding father Thomas Jefferson says, there should be a “wall of separation between the church and state,” which contradicts the values we see in today’s society.  

How is it that lethal weapons, such as guns, are legal in this country, but the right to a legal abortion is being taken away? What will the government say to the young women who were sexually assaulted and raped? What will they say to the women who are barely able to afford their own lives, let alone for a child, that a single mother must pay? What will they say to the mentally ill who want to take their lives away, incapable of raising another human? A child is a choice, and one in which a mother should always have a say. Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, some laws are dehumanizing and shameful, such as Georgia’s Heartbeat Bill, which prohibits the abortion of a fetus, if it has a detectible heartbeat. It is hard with laws like these, to even recognize you are pregnant, when you seek out an abortion, due to the short-lived nature of their limited time, being only 20 weeks. Though some births are seen as a miracle, a child could be an everlasting mark of hurt and agony, which is something neither the parent nor kid should have to face. 

Instead of teaching women to not get raped, we should teach men to not rape. Instead of berating young girls for  showing their shoulders and knees, we should teach schools to not fetishize underaged girls. Teaching people how to behave around others is the only way to fix these prevalent problems in our world today. 

We almost always end up blaming everything on a victim, and not the one who committed the act they should’ve had to pay for.

I am a disarmed soldier in the undeclared war against women. 

 

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comments (1)

  1. Temi

    I am in awe of your views and ability to eloquently express your views which I agree with. I can only imagine the happiness I’ll feel reading your future articles and be inspired. Well done Nadia and God bless you. I pray our world does change for the better and woman (especially those of color) so that one day, they can proudly receive the equality that is morally and ethically due to them.