When I was born my grandfather congratulated my dad for having a son, and thanked my mother for giving my father a son. I got my grandfather’s name.
When I was a child, I could play with LEGO, because “Lego is a boy thing” and that helped my creativity. My ability to solve problems was stimulated.
I got HotWheels car-washes and gas stations. I also got a box of plastic tools, to assemble and disassemble toy cars and trucks. That also stimulated my creativity and developed my logic capability, which is good for every child.
In my school day, the girls wore skirts and my friends lifted their skirts. It was a mess, So they were forbidden to wear skirts. I never saw a boy actually get punished for it though, after all “Boys are just like that. Took after his father this menace” - is what I usually heard
At home, with my family, I liked to play house with a younger cousin. We were around eight. I was the dad, she was the mom and the dolls were our children. While playing, when i carried the dolls in my arms my mother would get mad: “Let go of that doll boy, that’s a girl thing”. And my little cousin’s father, when he saw us playing, wouldn’t let her do it either. He said boys play with boys and girls play with girls because “boys are very stupid, and worse, very forward”. I did not consider myself stupid, and did not understand what he meant by “forward”, but I still did as I was told
At Christmas, my sister got a Barbie and I got a beyblade. She cried a bit because my toy was much cooler than hers, but every year my mother made the same mistake, and got her a doll, a toy stove, a toy fridge, a blender, everything pink, once mom got her an iron
When I turned 15 and started dating, my father bought me some condoms
During my teenage years, no one criticized me for kissing lots of girls. Nowadays, that still stands.
My father does not get mad at me when I don’t come home for the night, He does not say I need to be a “family boy”. He never slapped me in the face for thinking I’d spent the night at a motel.
No one lectures me saying I need to be reserved and play hard to get.
No one judges me when I want to be with a girl and take initiative
No one cares about my clothes; no one says I have to preserve myself.
No one says I have to preserve myself because “women only think about sex”
No one think my girlfriends were only with me for sex.
No one thinks that, when I have sex, that I’m submitting to the wishes of my partner
No one demonizes my orgasms.
I was never judged for carrying condoms in my backpack or in my wallet
I never had to hide my condoms from my parents.
I was never told to marry a virgin because I was a man
I was never told that “men have to value themselves” or that I had to “give myself the respect”. Apparently, my gender already makes me worthy of respect.
When I go out into the streets no one tells me I’m “delicious”
No unknown woman shouts “smoking hot” my way
I can walk down the streets having an ice cream cone at ease, because I know I won’t hear things like “drop that and come suck me”. I can even walk down the streets eating a banana
I never had to cross a street, even though it was out of my way, to avoid a group of women in a bar, who will probably catcall me when I pass, embarrassing me
I never had to walk in sweatpants, because my shorts leave my legs exposed, and that could be dangerous
I never heard someone say I was “shameless” because I went out without a shirt
No one regulates my work out clothes
No one cares about my clothes period.
I was never followed by a woman in a car when I was walking back home
I can catch a crowded subway everyday and surely no woman will rub against me, to record it and throw it on some porn website
No one ever had to create a subway wagon that was “just for men”
I never heard of someone of my gender being raped by a crowd
I can get on a bus by myself in the middle of the night
When I’m not carrying anything valuable, I no longer feel threatened, because I don’t fear getting raped at any moment, at every corner. That risk does not exist in the minds of the people of my gender.
When I go out at night I can wear whatever clothes I want.
If I suffer any kind of violence, no one blames me for being drunk, or for wearing certain clothes
If, one day, I was raped, no one would say it was my fault; that I was somewhere inadequate, that I had on a revealing outfit
No one would try to justify the rape based on my behavior
I would be treated as a VICTIM and that would be it.
No one thinks I’m vulgar because when it’s cold, my nipples show through my shirt
When I have sex with a woman on the first date I practically get a standing ovation. No one calls me a “tramp”, or “easy” or a “whore” because I have casual sex sometimes
99% of porn websites are made to please me and men in general
No one is shocked when I say I watch porn
No one judges me if I say I love sex
No one cares if I read erotic literature
No one is surprised to hear I masturbate
No mother-in-law will tell her daughter not to marry me because I’m not a virgin
No one criticizes me for investing in my career
When I have the same job position as a woman, my salary is never inferior to hers
If I am promoted, no one says it’s because I slept with my boss. People believe in my merit
If I have to travel for work and leave my kids with their mother for a few days no one calls me irresponsible
No one finds it strange that, at thirty years old, I still don’t have kids
No one guesses my sexual orientation based on the length of my hair
When my hair starts to grey, people will find it sexy, not think I’m letting go of myself
Society does not see my virginity as a prize
90% of military services are destined to people of my gender, even the higher jobs, in which the official only deals with paperwork and management
If I go out with a certain outfit no one says I’m “asking for it”
If I’m at a club and a woman performs oral sex on me, I’m not the “whore” or the “tramp”, she is.
If a video of me having sex with a woman gets leaked, no one will call me names, criticize me, stone me. I won’t be the “disgusting little bitch” I won’t be “trash” or “used” or “cheap”. I’d just be the man, fulfilling my alpha guy position in society.
If I lead a promiscuous lifestyle and then fall in love with just one woman, people think its beautiful. No one judges me based on my past.
No one says it’s disgusting if I don’t shave myself
No one would judge me for being a single dad. On the contrary, I’d be seen as a hero.
I’ll never be stopped from occupying a higher position in the Catholic Church for being a man
I was never beaten up for being a man
I was never obligated to do housework for being a man
I never had the obligation to learn how to cook for being a man
No one tells me my place is in the kitchen for being a man
No one says I can’t curse for being a man
No one says I can’t drink for being a man
No one stares at my plate if I put a lot of food in it
No one justifies my foul mood by blaming it on hormones
No one has ever made jokes that undermined my intelligence for being a man
When I sometimes mess up in traffic no one says “It had to be a man”
When I’m polite to a woman she doesn’t automatically assume I’m hitting on her
The term “tramp stamp” did not come into existence because men were seen as cheap
No one treats my body as just a tool for giving pleasure to the opposite sex
No one thinks I’ll have to be submissive to a future wife
I was never judged for drinking beer at table in which I was the only man
I’m never the target audience for house cleaning products ads
I’m the target audience for beer ads
No one’s ever asked me if my girlfriend lets me cut my hair. I cut it when I want to and people understand that.
There isn’t haze at USP (a university) that promotes my humiliation and objectification
Society doesn’t split my gender in “to marry” and “to whore”
When I say “no” no one thinks I’m just playing hard to get. No is no.
I don’t have to dress a certain way to avoid having women falling into temptation
People of my gender were not raped each 40 minutes in São Paulo last year
People of my gender don’t get raped every 12 seconds in Brazil
People of my gender didn’t get raped by a crowd during protests in Egypt
I’m not a man. But if you are, it’s fundamental to admit that society AS A WHOLE needs feminism
Don’t underestimate suffering that you don’t understand.
Camila Oliveira Dias
(This was originally in portuguese and I translated it, there are very slight alterations, because some expressions don’t have exact correspondents in english, I did my best, if you find any typos please message me, and I will correct them.)
Aditi Gupta grew up believing that her monthly menstrual periods were shameful incidents that made her impure, unclean. The shame she felt surrounding menstruation led to dangerous personal hygiene habits (hiding rags in damp, dark places; using improper sanitary methods) and a lack of confidence in herself and her right to better healthcare.
Three out of 10 girls in India don’t learn about periods before they hit puberty. And the numbers are even more striking where Aditi lives: 9 out of 10 girls in Rajasthan do not know what a period is when they get their first menses.
This culture of shame, silence, and myth compelled her to create Menstrupedia, a 90-page comic book introducing the concept of menstruation and the basics of female health to young girls in India.
I’m an OBGYN and I practice at a jail, where I take care of incarcerated women.
People often ask me, how did you come to work with incarcerated women? I was in the middle of my first year residency, delivering a baby. Everything was very familiar about the delivery scene; the nervousness, wondering if everything was going to be okay, helping the woman to push. But the one thing that was different is that she was shackled to the bed; she was a prisoner. And that moment troubled me so deeply that I developed an interest in learning more about these women.
Women make up a much smaller proportion of the correctional population than men – about 9% of everyone who is incarcerated. And 62% of [those] women are mothers to children who are less than 18 years old. Because women comprise such a small proportion, their gender-specific needs have been neglected. That’s particularly salient when it comes to their healthcare.
In theory, women do have the choice to have an abortion if they learn they are pregnant when they are in prison. There are constitutional guarantees – the 8th and the 14th amendments – and a number of judicial precedents, so it’s very clear that incarcerated women should have access to abortion. However, in practice, the people who are making the decisions have incredible discretion and many women lack access to abortion if they choose it.
About 1400-2000 births occur every year to women who are behind bars, and what they get for prenatal care is highly variable. There are standards that require prisons to have prenatal care onsite, but on the ground, some women have to be transported offsite and some women don’t even get prenatal care.
In labor, they usually get transported to an outside hospital. They can’t have any family support members in the room, and only 15 states have laws restricting the shackling of women in labor and delivery. A woman in labor, shackled, is what inspired me to work with this population. It’s inhumane and unnecessary, and it poses a lot of medical risks to the mother and the fetus. It also interferes with our ability to do emergent interventions if necessary.
People think prisons and jails are far away and we forget about the people who get locked up inside; we think they have nothing to do with us. So I hope I’ve given you some things to consider about what it’s like to be a woman when you’re in the grip of the prison or jail system.
From Dr. Carolyn Sufrin’s talk on incarcerated women and reproductive healthcare. Filmed at TEDxInnerSunset.
The first named author in history? Enheduanna, a Sumerian high priestess, poet and lyricist. She’s known as the Shakespeare of Sumerian literature.
Although I have to point out that there was a piece of speculative science fiction called The Blazing World published by one Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1666, slightly predating Mary Shelley.
The first American mystery novel was written by Metta Victoria Fuller Victor, as well as the first dime novel, and the first crime novel…
This is the thing. Women have been doing awesome shit since there was awesome shit to do, we’ve BEEN THERE, and then maliciously and willfully erased us from the books to keep anyone else from “getting ideas.”
At age 19, TED Fellow Eman Mohammed became the first female photographer in the Gaza Strip — a bold move in a culture that often discourages education and work for women. Her colleagues shunned her, and once abandoned her in an open air strike area, waving and laughing as they drove away. It was not her first death threat.
Facing extreme prejudice, she turned her lens to women and children in Gaza. She explains that her images reveal lives often considered inconsequential, unveiling poignant moments of joy and accomplishment. She calls herself “a witness with a choice — to run away or stand still.”