real life

"This behavior should have gone out the door with the Female Eunuch.”

Does this attitude still exist?

By ANONYMOUS

Last weekend I was exposed to some disgusting behaviour.

I was at a College ball in country New South Wales. As I’d imagine all country balls to be, everybody was drinking a little too much, talking a little too little and dancing a whole lot. It was fun.

But then something happened; something that I didn’t think existed in 2013. Something that would have Emmeline Pankhurst rolling in her grave.

On the bus home from the event, the male residents of the college started singing war cries. But they weren’t war cries about other colleges at the university. Nor were they war cries about sporting prowess.

They were war cries about women, rape, fetuses, and men getting their cocks sucked by women.

Here’s an example:

I wish all the ladies, were naked in me bed, and I’d get them all pregnant, and the babies could give me head. I wish all the ladies, were waves in the ocean. So if I were a swimmer, I’d f*ck em’ with me motion’.

And it continued like that for the whole 10-minute ride home.

I’m certain I was dragging my jaw along the floor by the time I got off. But that wasn’t even the worst thing.

The girls on the bus were singing these lyrics too.

Screaming them in fact. And laughing.

I guess it was just so funny that the men they lived with and share hallways and dinning rooms with, were singing about raping other women – women who could have easily been them.

By this stage I was in shock, and more than a little enraged. My friend, who was sitting next to me, looked at me and shook her head.

So I said, as loudly as I could, “Why is it all about women? Why not sing about men, hey? Where are all the male references? WHAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT MEN?”

In my mind the whole bus heard me and the sisterhood united, kicked the boys off the bus, threw our bras away and told them they could stick their war cries where the sun don’t shine and have some respect.

But of course, it went nothing like this.

The war cries continued and my comments were mainly drowned out by the chants about the awesomeness of rape and violent sex and abortion. And the few that did hear me had the witty remark of ‘f*cking feminist’, with some of the females nodding along in agreement.

Now, if you are not a feminist that’s fine. You don’t have to be. (Although as Caitlin Moran said: ‘What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you ladies?)

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But to go as far as saying sexist things about your own gender, and in turn YOURSELF, amongst men you have to live with? Well to me, that’s just silly. In fact, that’s stupid.

Mamamia Editor Jamila Rizvi wrote last year:

Feminism is ours. It is an ideal, a thought, a vision that was designed by our mothers and our grandmothers and our great grandmothers, but it is still relevant today. It isn’t something we should take for granted and it isn’t something we should forget.

Girls – your boyfriend should be a feminist. So should your husband and your brother and your mates and your son. Because just like I can be a supporter of the civil rights movement and not be black, they can be feminists without being women.

I understand that my generation believes that feminism is a ‘dirty’, ‘uncool’ word, and that if you’re a feminist, you have to hate men and not wear a bra. This is sadly what a majority of my friends think – and it makes me mad – because it isn’t true. Because whilst they shy away from feminism, deep down surely they still believe in the simplest rule: that women are equal and should be treated as such.

But these girls weren’t being treated as equals, nor where they fighting for that, which is the most upsetting thing. They were joining in, and shouting sexist slogans against themselves because they were too frightened to stand up in case they were called a ‘pussy’ or a ‘f*cking feminist’.

Many university colleges have an infamous reputation in Australia as ‘boy’s clubs’, and that’s exactly what I bore witness to.

In 2009, a Sydney University College set up a pro rape page on Facebook, last year another college suspended half its senior students for forcing ‘freshers’ to drink a concoction of shampoo and alcohol, and just this year Cleo Magazine investigated O-Week rituals which revealed an array of sexism, binge drinking and bullying.

This.

These attitudes need to stop. And women need to standup to ‘the boys’ at these colleges and tell them it is not okay to sing about rape, it is not okay to denigrate women and it is not okay to have such chauvinistic attitudes in the 21st century.

They are the only ones who can make it stop. And if they don’t, this culture of sexism and chauvinism that should be archaic, will keep breeding, and keep happening, and keep being glorified by boys who think it is okay to put women down, and treat them like shit with no repercussions.

Because it’s not okay, it never should be okay and these opinions should not exist in 2013. This behavior should have gone out the door with the Female Eunuch, and should not be the thoughts of 20-year-old boys.

Which makes me realise that women still have a long way to go. A long way.

Here are some feminists who inspire me:

The author of this post is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous.

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