My best friend, the amazing Wazzup1721, is a very vocal feminist. It is an incredibly admirable trait and something I strive to have. Now, as I’m sure most of you can relate to, is that if you are a vocal feminist, you’re often viewed as something of a radical or irrational person.
This is basically the Patriarchy and sexism at its most obvious. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know sexism is rampant everywhere. I’ve seen the statistics, I’ve watched videos and read the survivor stories. Tumblr has taught me a lot, and I’ve become a much better person because of what I now know. But…it wasn’t until just recently that I’ve witness it happen so close to home.
On a the first occasion, Wazz put up a post on Facebook about how sexist jokes aren’t funny. Her “friends” responded by telling sexist jokes ON her post. Obviously, she called them out on their bullshit, like anybody would/should, in a secondary post. Her so-called “friends” proceeded to troll her even worse.
On her THIRD post of the subject, wherein Wazz let her “friends” know that she wouldn’t stop vocalizing her opinion until they took her seriously, that thinks blew up a bit.
All of a sudden, guys were telling her things like “I feel like this is cliche to say, but welcome to the internet…if you post something you don’t like, of course people will say it.” and “I was actually being sincere when I ask about the kitchen [joke]…It was a valid question as to if anyone said anything about a kitchen. That’s where most of the sexist jokes come from.”
It was typical male responses, and yet even other women were agreeing. Wazz’s own family ganged up on her, equating her disdain for inequality and sexism as another form of bigotry.
“And again, any people that are against sexists are being prejudiced themselves.” - Actual quote.
Needless to say, the whole turn of events was infuriating. These people, people Wazz considered friends and family, took the time to repeatedly mock and harass her for her beliefs, for vocalizing her opinion. She repeatedly told these people to stop. They didn’t.
I spent the rest of the night worrying. These were people she knew. People, mostly men, she trusted. If they wouldn’t stop harassing her when she told them to…what would stop them from harassing her in person? From pushing their boundaries even further? From hurting her?
Like I said, I’ve been told the stories, and seen the statistics. The ramifications and consequences of sexism, of misogyny, are frightening.
It took me witnessing things first hand happening to my best friend to drive the truth home deep into my worst fears, though.
The other day, a guy on Wazz’s facebook called her a Man-hater, and ridiculed her being a feminist.
I don’t wanna live in a world where I have to fear for my best friend’s well being because she fights for her rights, for her rights to be heard, and her rights to be equal.
I don’t wanna have nightmares of some guy, unable to take “NO” and “STOP” as an answer, hurting her in any way.
This is why I need feminism.
Because women, like my best friend, get mocked and ridiculed for standing up for their rights. Because women every day get harassed, beaten, raped and murdered.