Guys judge girls, girls judge girls

Anyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows the ongoing debate in our society, the highly contested issue of double standards for men and women when it comes to sexuality. Women are criticized for the number of sexual partners they have, whereas men are congratulated for it. At least in my high school, girls were labelled as either “sluts” or “prudes,” with very little gray area in between. The way the guys at my school saw it, if you were a girl and you didn’t flaunt your willingness to put out, you were probably too uptight to talk anyways.

Why does this happen? It’s because even though guys judge girls, what makes the issue so much worse is the fact that girls judge other girls as well. Females who are reading this post, think about times when you have been in this situation. You see a girl who’s wearing a tight and revealing dress and you say to your friend “look at that girl, she’s dressed like such a slut.” I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad for anything they might have said in the past because let’s face it, we’ve all said something like that before. Who knows, maybe we’ve been one of the girls on the other side of the spectrum, who’s being called a slut behind her back. As I mentioned in a previous post, on a trip to India a few summers ago, I was forced to cover up whenever I went into public for my own safety. There was one day, however, that I was too frustrated trying to find something to wear that I went out in shorts anyways. It was the middle of the day and I was at my grandparent’s house in Pune, a city relatively safer than Delhi, Agra, or Jaipur, so I figured wearing short shorts into public just once wouldn’t be too big of a deal. I was sadly mistaken. My brother, mom and I were walking down the street, past a group of ladies sitting on the sidewalk (my guess was that they were all cleaning ladies, passing time before reporting to the next house) when one of them calls out to me in Marathi, yelling “what are you wearing?” Now, the lady who was yelling out to me probably didn’t anticipate me understanding what she said (for those of you who’ve seen me before, I don’t look like the traditional Indian and the fact that I was wearing shorts just emphasized my foreign appearance). When I heard the lady’s yelling, I turned around and gave her the most evil stare I could muster (which by the way, was no match for the looks she and her cronies were giving me. Seriously, Indian women have mastered the art of the stink eye) and fought back the urge to yell English vulgarities at her that she probably wouldn’t understand. I was just so caught off guard by the fact that a woman was giving me crap for what I was wearing. How did the length of my shorts have any impact on how her day was going? Was the five inches of exposed skin between my knees and my shorts so distracting that she just had to say something about it?

Now, the example I have just given is a very exaggerated one. India, like I’ve mentioned before, is very behind the times when it comes to female rights, so the chances of something like that happening in America is very rare. But still, the very fact that this strange lady felt like it was her duty to criticize me on my fashion choices is representative of the female tendency to judge members of their gender. It’s very rare to see a guy gossiping about another guy for something he did or didn’t do, but I see girls doing it all the time.

The moral of the story is this: next time you see a girl doing something you don’t necessarily approve of, don’t be so quick to say something about it. Would you be judging the person in that particular scenario even if it was a guy? The only way this double standard is really going to be resolved is if we, as a society, hold both males and females responsible for their actions. Both genders should be judged equally on topics as sensitive as sex and morality, and we shouldn’t be inclined to sort every girl we see into the categories of a “slut” or a “prude.”

A Typical Angry Rucha Rant

So far, I’ve been sitting at my computer, staring at my screen for about an hour. I’ve started three different blog posts on different topics which I do feel passionate about, but I can’t find the words to express my feelings. So instead, I’m going to tell a story about why I have such strong feelings about this issue.

Last summer, I went on a trip to India with my family and family friends. We went the typical tourist route at first, commonly dubbed the “Golden Triangle,” which included the cities of Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, and then went to visit my family in Pune. Even though I enjoyed getting to sight see and learn more about the country that I came from, in all honesty, I was glad to come home a few weeks later. Don’t get me wrong – I love seeing my grandparents and extended family and eating spicy Indian food every day. But the entirety of the trip, I was constantly being watched by someone, whether it was one of my parents or one of my friend’s parents. Why would such a responsible and independent girl like me need to be watched every waking minute, you may ask? The answer is simple: because I’m a girl. Though India has make significant strides when it comes to technology, politics, and education, the country’s views on social issues like gender equality or gay rights is still painfully narrow minded. As a whole, the country treats their women terribly, and the women don’t have the power to do anything about it. There are a lot of unwritten rules put in place for females – it isn’t socially acceptable for women to smoke or drink, girls to wear shorts above their knees, or for women to drive when there is a man present. Women who don’t cook are considered a disgrace to their family. To make matters worse, because of how heavily oppressed women are in this country, it gives men almost free reign to be as creepy as they want. Because of this, the entire time I was in India, I was forced to wear full length clothes in the sweltering 110 degree Indian summer and was watched like a hawk at all times. It didn’t help that my brother and friend Archis were allowed to do or wear whatever they wanted, simply because they were guys. I will never forget how angry I felt when Archis and my brother got to walk around in their comfortable shorts and t-shirts while I sweated buckets in my full length salwaar kameez or how they were allowed to go off and explore the hotel as they pleased, while I had to have someone with me. Walking down the street, I had to walk behind someone, because if I walked ahead of the crowd, it would give creepy men on the street an opportunity to stare at me more than they already did. The reason this gender imbalance is so extreme in this country is because emphasis is placed on punishing and oppressing girls rather than teaching boys how to respect them.

I hope that 516 word rant was enough to explain why I feel so strongly about this issue. To put it simply: I’ve experienced this kind of discrimination plenty of times in my life and whenever I try to bring it up in conversation with someone who isn’t a teenage girl, my thoughts are immediately dismissed or ignored. That’s why I figure, what better way to get people to listen to you than to make them read a blog post about your feelings?


Why feminism?

Provided this blog is actually interesting enough to read, people may be wondering why I have chosen to write about a topic that the public considers such a non-issue in modern times.

I’ll tell you why. Because gender inequality still does exist, will always exist, and is much bigger of a deal than people make it out to be. The fact that I carry pepper spray around campus with me and can’t walk down the street in a nice outfit without being yelled to by random weirdos is, among other countless examples, proof of what is wrong with our society.

Will this blog be an entry way to some kind of radical feminist movement that will give females the social rights they truly deserve? Considering I’m a seventeen year old college student at a school with over 40,000 people, probably not. Even if I was some kind of professional blogger, the chances of my blog making a difference on a large scale would be slim to none. Regardless, I’d still like to think that if some disillusioned teenage girl happened to be searching the Internet for blogs and landed on this one, some of my posts would at least make her smile.

Furthermore, I think this blog breaks the stereotype that all feminists are butch, bra-burning, hairy-legged lesbians whose single goal is to promote female superiority. Honestly, I don’t understand where that stereotype came from. If you’re a woman who happens to like woman that’s cool and I totally respect that, but I don’t understand why people think that in order to be a feminist you have to like only women. The two don’t correlate. Also, who came up with the idea that feminists don’t like to shave their legs or wear bras? Personally, I like smooth legs and support, but that’s just me. Bringing me back to my original point, I think writing this blog will make it clear that the stereotype for typical feminists is absolutely not true. As a skinny, five foot four, non-athletic female with a passion for online shopping and shoes, I can certainly vouch for that.