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No Sugar Coating: Between a rock and a hard place


When I was in middle school, I would witness some of my more mature-looking friends getting catcalled by older guys. We knew that it was degrading and wrong, so the girls would shake it off when it happened to them.

As aware and informed about rape culture as I was, deep down I was jealous of the friends who were just openly sexualized in front of me.

I felt embarrassed to be thinking I wasn’t pretty enough to be catcalled. I felt scrawny and ugly, and frankly, not good enough.

This is the problem with rape culture.

It’s put into our minds as women, by women, that we are more than just a sex object and should not back down to misogyny. But by men, for the past hundreds of years, an object is all we’ve ever been.

It’s a constant worry to women whether we’re pretty enough, not if we’re smart or strong enough. Even in the 21st century, parents worry about their daughters’ physique more than their intellect. Seth Stephen-Davidowitz, an Op-Ed writer for the New York Times, conducted a Google search study on the concerns of parents about their children.

“…My study of anonymous, aggregate data from Google searches suggests that contemporary American parents are far more likely to want their boys smart and their girls skinny,” Stephen-Davidowitz suggested.

His study also shows that parents are two and a half times more likely to search “Is my son gifted?” than that question for a daughter.

Stephen-Davidowitz continues to go over how it’s more typical for parents to worry about their daughters’ weight or beauty than her intelligence and their sons’ intelligence or stature.

This world we live in has created a double standard which shames women for their beauty but also shames them for lacking it. Women don’t  want to feel caught between a double standard, I can attest to that personally. I am not just another pretty face. I am more than what lies on the surface.

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