by Natalie Villani on Thought Catalog

“On International Women’s Day I’m extremely proud of the courageous women I’m surrounded by. But this day is here to remind me I should be proud of these women every single day and embrace them even more than I already do.

I don’t agree with a crossing light symbol change in Melbourne because I think we are more than just an intangible silhouette that can be interpreted as any gender really. I do, however, have strong Feminism views that still stand and have determined the person I am today.

A lot of people assume Feminism is boy bashing, but that’s just not it.

Feminism isn’t shutting off one side of the two parties. It’s incorporating both. We want equal rights/respect on both sides.

The definition of Feminism says it all: “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”

Growing up with domestic violence taught me many valuable lessons and made me very socially aware. I became repulsed at the gender gap and learnt that one sex shouldn’t have authority over another.

As women, we are slut shamed. Why is this? Why are women not aloud to have positive sex talk without being labelled. Why are men applauded for sleeping around but women are told it’s disgraceful. Both men and women should be able to live their lives without a constant pass of judgement. May I add, having something to say doesn’t mean we have a bad attitude.

Tell me why a girl hanging out with a group of guys is “asking for it” or “vulnerable.” Who even made that concept up? You can be friends with people with dicks without jumping on them. Yeah, I said dicks. Is that still a sensitive topic? Why aren’t we open about these things? I’m pretty sure men can brag about how good that “pussy” was. How sad is it that there is an immediate assumption of romance or sex when a woman is seen with a male friend. If men can rap about sex, why can’t women celebrate it too and be shown the same admiration. And there’s more. When you’re dating a guy you’re known as their “missus.” This doesn’t do the woman’s own self any justice or reflect who they are. Just because you’re dating someone doesn’t mean you’re their property or possession. We don’t belong to anyone but ourselves and neither do you. We are more than enough on our own. Both sexes are capable of anything.

I feel as though guys assume we are so obsessed with makeup, fake tan and materialistic things, that they forget we also have a brain. We’re not glued or drawn to only one interest, we have many. We like our fashion and we like our books. Or maybe only one or the other. We all like different things. That’s cool. The other day when I told my class at Uni I was a nerd people looked at me funny. They said I don’t look like one. “But are you really a nerd?” Thankfully, a girl with likeminded views to me claimed “Those nerd stereotypes really need to stop.” I second that, they do. A “nerd” doesn’t look a certain way or act a certain way, a nerd is anything you want it to be.

I believe the best way to bring about equality is in how we act in our everyday lives and how we treat each other.

It doesn’t have to be a government law infringed on us. It’s what we start enforcing on each other right now. We should be educating our children so that everyone feels empowered enough to know the difference between respect and discrimination. We need to start listening to each other. Ladies, we are not defined by our experiences. We are more than that.

For all the women still waiting to be heard, let us women be your voice. We’re all in it together. We aren’t afraid.

I believe the future is female. I long for the day when intolerance and double standards is never heard of again. We are more than our bodies and faces. We are this generations power. We are human. If you take away anything from today’s piece I hope it’s this- Women can be many things. They can be serious, gentle, powerful, sexual, ladylike, irreverent, whatever they fucking want, wild, free, ferocious, soft, pure, hard, divine, irreverent, playful and distinctive all at the same time.

No one should tell us who we should be or how we should live. To all the females out there, continue kicking butt. To our brothers, we are your sisters. We will honour and appreciate you if you treat us the same. We all deserve it. May we raise strong, independent women and may we continue to be inspired by women all over the world. Ladies, we are boss queens and we are needed. TC mark

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