Simply Being a Woman Is an Exhausting Existence

Gillian Sisley

And it shouldn’t have to be, but we make women work harder as a society for no reason in particular.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

To be honest, I’m just tired.

Tired of having to work twice as hard to prove myself just as competent is exhausting.

Having to be on guard, at all times, to protect my body and myself, is exhausting.

Having to fight endlessly for my equal rights and those of my fellow sisters is exhausting.

Having to listen to privileged, rich white men in suits mansplain my own autonomy and anatomy to me while getting it incredibly wrong is exhausting.

I know I’m not alone here. We’re standing here, beaten down and broken, and tired of picking ourselves up from the dirt and continuing to fight for what’s right.

And damn, it’s a frustrating journey having to address this time and time again.

Why must I work twice as hard, simply to exist?

Are you truly that threatened by me?

Is my success that terrifying a concept that you must attempt to tear me down at any given opportunity?

Am I in some way less deserving of my existence, even though it is within my body in which I can create existence and birth it into the world?

In the 26 years I’ve been living in this world, it became very clear, very early on, that I was lesser than for no reason which has anything to do with my character, work ethic or my spirit.

And even more disturbing — I am one of the lucky ones.

Because in terms of being a woman, I am as privileged as they come. Upper-middle-class, first-world, straight, caucasian woman.

But I can tell you, on the days I’m being discriminated against and having to encounter cruel misogynistic behaviour, I don’t feel lucky.

What is it that you’re afraid of, truly, when it comes to my having full control of my own self?

Is there some sort of ancient prophecy which states that when women are fully equal, and carry equivalent rights to their male counterparts, the end-of-times will begin?

Will there be a deadly outbreak of disease?
A zombie apocalypse?
The second coming of carnivorous dinosaurs?

What is it, exactly, that you are so terrified will take place when all members of your society achieve equal and balanced rights in the eyes of the law and society as a whole?

History and science show that when women are empowered and held up as equals, everyone benefits.

Societies thrive. The economy builds. Violence lessens.

How, in what capacity, is that threatening to you?

In all reality, we only have to gain through equality and equity.

Are you proud of yourselves?

Do you get an award for every time you swipe a woman’s feet from under her?

For every time you give her rapist a laughable, pitiful sentence.

For every time your first question is, “But what were you wearing when it happened?”, rather than, “What can we do to support you?”.

For every time a woman is “put in her place” and told what she can and can’t do, simply because of her anatomy.

Are you sitting in your underground gentleman’s club, cigar and glass of scotch in hand, chuckling along with your fellow oppressors while making a mockery of our pathetic existence?

The fact of the matter is, holding onto that bit of privilege you get through keeping women lower than you, is not a valid reason to continue oppressing women, and all others.

Final word.

Like many other women, I’m tired.

Tired of men telling us how we are allowed to conduct our bodies.

Tired of being catcalled on the streets.

Tired of only having my space respected by men when I flash my ring or mention I’m engaged.

My word is enough. When I say “no”, it’s enough. When I make a choice for myself, that is enough.

And I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to have to say this. Maybe for the rest of my life.

The prospect of that is hella exhausting.

But that doesn’t mean I’m going to shut up anytime soon.

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