Pretty in Pink…And every Colour on the Wheel

| January 8, 2013
Staff Writer - Katrin Callender

Staff Writer – Katrin Callender

I have a friend who calls himself a man’s man and is not ashamed to admit that he is fond of the ladies. He will stand before me, the “feminist-with-an-exclamation-point” and whip his head around as a woman walks by with the sort of physique he likes yet ‘jiggling in all the right places’.

And he loves to laugh when I shake my head and sigh, telling him that “the thesis is writing itself”- a line which has amused him since the first time he heard it some months ago. “I’m a man; I must watch,” he says. And he is not the only one.

I have found that I cannot hate my male friends- nor do I want to- when they behave in this manner. I also try hard not to judge them. They have been socialized into thinking in a particular way.

But as a woman in their midst I often wish they would censor themselves- I have been in the shoes of the woman walking by; I have known what it means to feel dirty and naked and vulnerable.

And I wonder if they can grasp that. Have they ever known that heartache? Would they protect me if it was done in their presence? And if so, why do it to this stranger, who has no friends there to defend her?

I have also observed that I get more attention in pastel colours. I was deemed a “lady” early on within our social circle and somehow it meant that I was different from other girls.

They could be treated as if they were disposable- the “things” to be slept with and tossed away- the women to be conquered, because they could be. But these were my sisters- women who felt as I did and who should be treated as well as I wanted to be treated myself. I could not – I cannot and will never be able to celebrate being spared this humiliation while other women are made to endure it.

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

Perhaps I cover my body while they wear very little; perhaps I am soft-spoken when they laugh and scream and argue and gyrate in public. But I can no longer sit and watch them be ogled, and I cannot listen to men and women berate them and call them all kinds of names.

Some of these women just need to be reminded of their worth; others need to learn humility. Many of them, like my male friends, are also the product of their societies.

I ache to think of all the ridiculous ideas that have such a firm grasp on our society, that we cause each other pain, because we blindly accept them. Gandhi said that we ought to be the change we wish to see in the world- and for my part- that is what I aim to do!

I envision a world where we no longer hold each other to false standards of beauty or set up hierarchies but instead embrace each other as unique and worthy elements within it.

We will expect the best only of ourselves and ask it of each other, willing to be patient for as long as it takes our neighbor to be their best. Even if I find that I am only able to change my thinking or that of a few relatives or close friends- I can be satisfied that I changed my world- and I can be at peace.

I am woman and I seldom roar- but I have said goodbye to silence and I have known no greater joy!

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Category: Culture & Society, Inspiration

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