While reading my daily metaquotes, I stumbled upon the context of one
bemoaning the plight of menustrating women everywhere.
Even barring the initial jarring reaction of realizing those earrings were not of the zodiac Ares symbol, I was inwardly revolted. It is not, outwardly, that offensive--or if it is, it is outrageously so, like the shirts that have clever insults written on them. I found myself repugnated nonetheless and finally sorted out my reaction.
On the surface, you're celebrating the fundamental difference between a man and a woman. And hey, men have a weird and creepy connection with their trouser snake, so why can't women have a weird and creepy relationship with their uterus?
But here's the thing. Women's reproductive systems have traditionally been used to essentially enslave them. A man gets a woman pregnant and she was unable to run away, get a job, etc. There is still stigma when a woman gets pregnant and the man takes off--she suffers the public humiliation and shame while he gets away free with his little trouser buddy, destined to have one more story when he's bragging to the boys how many chicks he's banged. Women are still being repressed because of their reproductive organs. Even though it is completely normal for a girl's hymen to break through non-sexual contact, it's a sign of "impurity" in some cultures and women can be executed for having premarital sex, even if they didn't
. There's the fundamental difference in supposedly being able to tell when a woman is a virgin and not knowing when men are. In sub-Saharan Africa, it is completely acceptable for men to sleep around because "who will know", while women are branded sluts for doing so.
So why are we celebrating this? Men have traditionally, and still do, boil women down to a collection of stereotypes, basing all assumptions about personality/intelligent/capability on the fact someone has a uterus. And now women are doing the exact same thing. We're saying that we're superior in some way, because our genitalia doesn't require constant adjustment inside our pants. We're saying that our entire being can be summed up by the fact we can carry children--as if that defines us more than any other accomplishment we have. Newsflash! It doesn't exactly take skill to get knocked up. Some of the brightest, most intelligent women in the world have to scrape and fight every bit of the way to earn acceptance in their fields or be taken seriously, but we're celebrating Mary Jane Louise Jo having her fourth trailer park rugrat while in high school.
So why are we putting miniature Fallopian tubes on earrings and saying, "Oh, I'm so happy
to be a woman"?
Put a brain on an earring and say you're happy to be a woman. Put "CEO of BigAss Company" on a shirt and say you're happy to be a woman.
We are more than our reproductive organs, more than our bodies, more than a mass of stereotypes concocted and reiterated by the opposite sex.