Being a woman is exhausting, and most of the time we let it fall off our shoulders. When you’re a woman who goes against the status quo, you get so much hate. And even when you do follow the status quo, it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t. 

Women aren’t viewed like people, but as a concept to protect and control. We may be a majority of the population, but the struggles with being a woman is insane. Any interests we have are belittled and ridiculed, especially if it’s viewed as a “traditionally” male hobby. If that’s the case, those women are assumed that they’re only doing it for male attention.

For example, men are always wishing for women to be into sports, but the moment that they are, they’re told that sports are for men and to keep out of sports.

This also comes into play for gaming and doing masculine normative activities. I play games actively but I don’t even play the games unless my friends are online because I don’t want to hear any toxic misogynistic malarkey. 

Whenever a sexual assault case happens, they tend not to be believed, but on the other hand, when we rally together, there’s a phrase that’s often used to give empathy. “I have a wife/daughter/dog that’s a woman” insinuates that women should only be cared for when you’re directly related with them, and that they’re not treated as an individual, but if a stranger, then one would suddenly not have any empathy for a rape victim.

Not to mention it isn’t just women, but men tend to not report sexual assault crimes because “they should like it.” There’s internal misogyny and hatred to femininity on both sides of the coin. 

But femininity, even though it’s known to be thought of as lesser, is shoved down our throats. 

If you’re the eldest sister, you go through being made into a parent and having to help raise your younger siblings, given the dishes or laundry, instead of lawn mowing and trash. There’s these roles that are given to us as individuals purely based on our sex.

The separation of what is a “masculine or feminine” trait is holding back our potential as a society. Hot take, but nothing is masculine or feminine, they’re all learned traits.

Men can, and should, express themselves the way they want, like wearing a dress, painting nails, doing makeup, or whatever they want. The first step to having true equality is to unlearn the inner misogyny and express yourself the way you want despite backlash.

Leslie Grajeda is a South Hutchinson sophomore studying journalism.

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