Saturday, 13 July 2013

The other night post viewing of "The Apprentice" I troweled through Twitter via the show's tag in the hope of uncovering something beautiful that would help fuel my obsession with business-based shows and Karren Brady. Unfortunately, I uncovered an ignorant woman (from my home region upsettingly - sometimes I wish I could decide which parts of the North-East "accidentally" drifted into the North Sea) who accused Karren Brady of "sexism". Her argument when something along the lines of (yes, it was a woman which perhaps is the most disturbing thing: kind of like seeing your parents having sex but less surprising) "Sexism. She shouldn't be congratulating Alan Sugar on selecting a woman as being his apprentice. Imagine if Nick Hewer championed a man blah blah blah ignorance blah blah blah." It was upon this sight that I roared like the female, less Welsh version of Tom Jones that I am and replied to her frankly idiotic tweet in a somewhat frenzied way.

Now, let me explain sexism. It's a simple concept that most seem to grasp but many still seem to misinterpret the basic principles of. Its foundations lie along similar premises to racism: it is about a majority oppressing a group of people for their own gains, entertainment, on the basis of their ignorance or simply as a cruel and unusual way to get their kicks. A powerful majority cannot really experience it, as they are used to being powerful and dominant within society. Like a white person cannot have racial prejudice thrust upon them because they have propagated racism for centuries, there is no such thing as being sexist towards a man. Sure, you can be a misandrist or believe women are better and it's not necessarily right, but sexism in its truest, most odious form is male-based oppression aimed at women. Anyway, this woman on Twitter claimed to be a feminist in as many words - I laughed myself into an early grave.

So, I may have addressed her as being an absolute berk - tact has never been my forté - and I stated the above in as many words. She called me rude. She also patronised me for being only twenty years old and said I only knew sexism in theory, which was perhaps the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard. As a woman, by the time one reaches their teens, they have endured sexism in its many hideous forms. I have had catcalls, wolf-whistles, men shout "get your tits out" (my tits, however large they may be, do not carry neon signs saying "please make me feel as uncomfortable and awkward about my body as possible"), my body parts grabbed, sexual propositions and men attempt to kiss me all in the name of their own sexual gratification. I've been told I can't play video games, I can't like football moreover play it, I can't join the police force because it's "not for women". To say I only know sexism in theory is completely ridiculous; most women experience sexism before their teens. Furthermore, there's this notion that young people must live in balls of cotton wool and be completely naïve to the world and its inexplicable horrors. I am more street-wise than some adults, male and female, whom are twice my age.  Age is not relative to knowledge.

I didn't care that she called me rude - to be honest, it's expected in relation to my citing her as being a "berk". However, to be patronised and have sexism told at me, as though I were a naughty puppy who didn't understand how to use the toilet properly as of yet, was so condescending it made me furious.

The more congratulating achievements of women or their successes and strengths is seen as a taboo or incorrectly, "sexist against men", the less incentive they will feel to stand up to their male counterparts academically, socially, emotionally and within the workplace. We should all be championing women, not ignoring the ongoing problem and hoping it goes away and we all whisper behind our hands, "Women are the same as men and should be recognised for their achievements." We should fight out at those imbeciles whose ignorance dictates that anything but women being on an equal level to men is something taboo. I won't stop screaming from the top of my lungs that I am equal to a man and that my age, sex, social background or anything else for that matter stops that.

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