A Woman’s Sexuality Should be Hers Alone

BY STEPHANIE BERTOLO

On International Women’s Day last Tuesday, we highlighted the accomplishments of countless women throughout history and called attention to the desperate need for continued progress towards gender equality. There are so many issues that women face on a daily basis solely because of their gender. One that I have personally faced time and time again is the constant control of society over a women’s sexuality and the ways in which it affects all other aspects of a woman’s life.

The persistent sexualization of my femininity was especially apparent during my time working as a gas station cashier since I was sixteen years old.

“Smile,” exclusively men would say to me and my female coworkers. This was often followed by a comment like, “You look prettier when you do.” To them, my emotions had no value in the face of my aesthetic appeal. Some people have suggested that perhaps these customers were just trying to be cheerful. But the fact of the matter is that if a woman is not smiling for whatever reason, it unsettles some men so much that they have to tell them to alter their behaviour. Why? Continue reading

I Get It Now

For the past week I’ve been searching for a song or a Tumblr post or something to sum up how I feel, but I haven’t had any luck.

People don’t write about girls like me unless it’s to tear them down.

Growing up, I always looked at women who would become involved with someone else that they knew had a significant other in an extremely negative light. I wondered if they cared at all about the person they were hurting. I wondered how they could sleep at night. I wondered if they were just stupid, to believe anything the guy said, to think that he would leave his current partner, to believe that even if he did it would work out. I wondered if they genuinely felt loved and cared for.

Well, now I’m ‘that girl’, and I’m learning that it’s not at all as simple as that. I do care about his
girlfriend’s feelings. I don’t know her, but I know that no one deserves heartbreak, especially when you’ve devoted so much of your life to the person you’re with. And I’m not stupid either. Continue reading

No, I’m Not Giving You My Number, And I Don’t Feel Bad About It

By Nathalie Pye

For reasons I can’t explain, within the last few weeks I’ve been asked for my number a lot. Maybe I’m giving off a I-don’t-live-at-home-anymore vibe, or maybe the warmer weather is making men more bold. I’ve been asked for my number before, but never this much.

In the past I’ve almost always gone with the “Sorry, I have a boyfriend” excuse. I know I’m not the only one who’s done this. It’s easy, it stops the conversation immediately, and it lets the asker down easy.

The last time someone asked me for my number I was work, which is problematic in its own regard but that’s another point. It was the end of the night and I was so tired that I just said ‘no’, plain
and simple. I didn’t want to bother with excuses, or try to justify my answer. I just repeatedly said ‘no’. The guy tried to get me to feel sorry for him by saying how much I’d disappointed him but I just kept saying, “Sorry, but I’m not giving out my number.” Maybe this isn’t the best reaction from someone in customer service but we were already closed, I was tired and I just wanted to go home.
Continue reading