Women, Suzan Shabangu
Photo credit goes to GovernmentZA from Flickr


Being a woman is tough.

We have to deal with the fact that we’re still paid less than men (approximately £1.30 less during 2016) and less still if we’re women of colour, disabled or trans. The fact that if we wear something that could be deemed ‘inappropriate’ in school (like shorts or skirts that are not exactly knee length or longer) then we could be kicked out of lessons, reducing our time that could have been spent learning, until we’re wearing something more suitable. In other words distracting boys less.

And goodness forbid we accidentally show a bra strap…

People cause a fuss when they see a woman breast feeding in public and then there’s Donald Trump and people like him who think it’s within their rights to dictate to women whether or not it’s right to have an abortion. Not to mention the annoyance that comes every month when our uteruses throw a tantrum even a three year old would be proud of. And yes I am talking about periods. And that’s just the tip of the ice berg.


Periods are inconvenient in the best case scenario and in the worst, well let’s just settle for agreeing they’re never pleasant. It doesn’t help that there’s some unspoken law of society that causes people to avoid talking about them, the inevitable level of awkwardness that arises when they do talk about them and the feeling of embarrassment when they have to buy sanitary towels or tampons, especially from a male cashier.

And on the topic of buying female sanitary products that you would think would be seen as a necessity, they’re actually classed and taxed as a LUXURY item. As if stopping the never-ending tidal wave of blood from staining whatever we’re wearing and/or what we’re sitting on is a treat or a rare indulgence. Of course it’s not and I think you’ll agree anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.


2. Clothing

One of the things I believe society is awful at is telling girls and women how to dress.

That they should look good and feel good in whatever they wear but, they’re not allowed to be too revealing or they’re asking for sexual assault but, if you wear baggy T-shirts and jogging bottoms you’re not putting in enough effort or pride in your appearance. It’s all too contradictory and definitely doesn’t help with the issue of self and body confidence.

It also teaches girls that their body is seen as something sexual and nothing else. Especially when they’re sent out of class, interrupting their own education, to ensure that no boys are distracted by the tiny bit of skin showing.

Girls and women should be told they should feel comfortable and confident in their own skin and that THEY are the only authority on what they should wear.

Whether you want to wear that dress, that mini skirt, that button up shirt or that baggy T-shirt you should do so without question. It’s no one else’s business what you choose to wear and let me assure you now that those choices do not make you a “slut”, a “prude” “too fat for that”, “lazy” or anything else you think people might say.


3. Dating 

How many of you have had to make the choice of going against your better judgment and agreeing to date someone even though you’d prefer to just remain friends? For the sake of their feelings? To avoid conflict? Or even because you felt pressured to do so?

Too many is my guess.

It doesn’t make you a “tease” to say no if that’s how you feel. More often than not it’s also usually better to get it over and done with straight away rather than burying your head in the sand and hoping the problem will go away. The best advice going for someone in this situation is don’t bow down to peer pressure, don’t feel bad about doing it and just tell them the truth. You’ll both be a lot happier for it.

4. Sex.

It’s probably one of the bigger taboo subjects going but it shouldn’t be. Boys are celebrated when they do it whereas girls are usually condemned. People stress and debate and overcomplicate it but really it’s this simple: if you don’t want to then don’t. Say no. If you do then it’s no one else’s business except your partners. Make sure you talk about it with them because they might not want to, in which case you should respect their wishes. If you both decide it’s something you want to do, then make sure you’re both safe and protected. See? It’s Simple.

Taking charge of your body is important and it’s also important to remember that whatever your decision it doesn’t make you a slut, a whore, a prude or frigid.

As Women we have to face many problems, but we don’t have to face them alone.

Don’t put a fellow woman down if she happens to be more sexually active than you, likewise if she’s never even kissed someone.

Stand up for the girl who is being shamed for what she’s wearing.

Don’t tell a friend she should date someone if she really doesn’t want to.

Support those who have to deal with the ever annoying “looks like someone’s on their period” remark.

It’s time to never let another woman suffer alone.

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