A few days ago, I was having a simple conversation with a grown man about the bee epidemic. Unbeknown to me, this was an incredibly sensitive topic on his part, and he used this opportunity about insect discussion to prove to me that he was, in fact, superior and smarter than I was in all counts, including on the topic of journalism, an industry which I have been heavily studying for the past four years, as it is, you know, my major.
This conversation was off-putting, to say the least, as this man blatantly told me he knew more about journalism than I did, despite studying something else during his time in school. Me telling him that this probably wasn't true led to an in-depth argument about how his opinions (that he was smarter than me) were factual and correct and that mine (that a boy who studied something very far from journalism probably did not know more about the subject than I did) were stupid. I hope this blog post finds it's way to his computer while he vigorously researches every subject in the world in order to become the smartest person ever. He ended our conversation by sarcastically telling me to write an article about my feelings towards his treatment of me, since I was 'so knowledgeable about journalism'. Well, here it fucking is!
As a senior college student, there are a lot of things that I have noticed in my three and a half years at a university. One of these things is that the men I am often surrounded with seem to think they know more about things than I do, no matter the status or credentials that either of us share. I find this in both the art and journalism fields that I work in, in addition to my normal daily routine.
Many men in my life have taken it upon themselves to explain to me even the simplest of actions, ideals, or concepts. Most of the time, I let them, staring at the boy explaining to me in great detail on how to transfer a file from my computer to my jump drive (as if this is something I have never done in my life, and also like I could never understand the basic motion of clicking and dragging something on a desktop computer), with a shit-eating grin on my face and laugh about it later with my girlfriends. But sometimes (many times), this kind of behavior makes me really, really pissed off. In these instances, I gracefully pop the fuck off and verbally state, in AP formatting with the use of references, citations, and examples, why I am capable of understanding and being knowledge of many important, smart, worldly topics-from the war in Iraq to all the way to knowing things about my major.
If there's anything you should know about me, it's that I have the incredible ability to verbally produce a Kill Bill-esc fight in seconds, using only words as my weapons, leaving the enemy so incredibly in awe of my passion and knowledge that they didn't even know that they were left with battle wounds until hours later when they get home, look in the mirror, and notice the metaphorical blood and tears splattered all over their face. I do not pull this out often. Every woman I have battled with has come back willing to make amends. Every man I have battled with has called me a name (fat, stupid, ugly) and acted as if the interaction never happened after. My opinion, in the hands of many men, is treated as juvenile, and thrown away.
Almost every man I have been involved with romantically was, at first, in great awe of my complex music taste, stating that they had never met a girl who listened to this artist, putting me on a brief pedestal while also knocking down the others of my gender, affecting others with their sense of superiority even when it was not directed at me. Older men gawk at my political opinion, under the impression that a young woman is terribly inept at understanding the United States of America or knowing anything of importance on the subject of politics, and my opinion on art is sometimes overlooked by my male peers, dismissed and disregarded because it might be different than their's. Men have tried to tell me about my own body, sexual preferences, thoughts, feelings, actions, and emotions. They have spoken to me in a tone reserved for a toddler when I express views on controversial subjects. They have regarded me as lower in status before even getting to know who I am. And I'm so very sick of it.
These complications are things that women face every day and handle with grace. But I am here to say that women are smart, complex, and fascinating people who are absolutely equal than the men around them. It's time to start treating us like it.
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