When thousands of women complain of the same side effects from their contraception; when business is considering adopting period leave; when maternal morbidity and mortality is rising in the USA and the western world has abysmal breastfeeding success rates, we have a much bigger problem than any of those issues individually suggest.
Yesterday I wrote about abuse existing on a continuum. I wrote that when we ignore covert abuse, give it a free pass, shove it under the rug and only recognise overt abuse we continue to create a society that has no healthy yardstick by which to measure. That when we insist that things on the “lower end” of the spectrum aren’t “actual” abuse, “actual” rape that we help to gloss over warning signs, and unhealthy behaviour. We normalise them. In some cases we even romanticize them. And as a result it makes the lines between discipline and abuse, anger and abuse, flattery and harassment, sex and rape; blurry.
So I'm sure you have heard the news.
Target USA are removing gendered signage from their toy and bedding department, and the world is about to collapse into all out chaos. Or something like that. Apparently lots of people are pretty terrified by this change.
Which, btw has absolutely nothing to do with gay rights, or a gay agenda. It is also not, political correctness gone mad. I have been following this issue for about 6 years now. Pigtail Pals & Ballcap Buddies, who have been a big influence in people's questioning of gender limitations, was one of the first blogs I started following. It's founder, often talks about how "once you see it (the gendered marketing of childhood) you can't unsee it"
So after reading some, quite frankly hysterical, posts attacking Target over the last few days, I wondered if there was a way to rip people's blinder's off, so they can see the real issue, instead of the issues they wrongly assume this is about. Other people understand the true cause of the change, but don't get why it is necessary or important. You know all those "there are real issues in the world" commenters. (news flash: people can care about more than 1 thing at a time) Unfortunately, I don't have the resources to set up one of those social experiment videos, and my photoshop skills are non-existent. So the best I can do is try to explain in writing.
So this is what the adult world would be like if all stores and all departements mimicked the old system at target.
In our attempts to end victim shaming, we have ended up silencing and shooting down anyone who suggests that we could be teaching risk awareness to our girls.
It is going to take time to change our entire society.
It is going to take time, to raise a generation of men who do not see women's bodies as their personal playthings.
There are quite a lot of steps we need to take before we even get to the point where baby boys will not be born into a culture that views women as holes to fuck.
Until then we are fighting within the confines of our current existence. And those confines mean that we have to approach the issue from both sides.
1) teaching boys to question the paradigm
2) teaching girls risk prevention strategies
Hi I'm Nicole