Can We Stop Acting Like "Female" Is A Swear Word?

By Katie Golway

People throw the word “female” around like biology is a sin. The word has been reduced to an insult, and to hear it used by women to alienate other women is counterproductive. We are doomed to a stagnant society if this continues to be tolerated.

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There is one incident that boils my blood to recall. I was with a close friend of mine in an Uber back to her apartment. We had been to various bars that night. It was late, and I was hardly jolly. Our driver took it upon himself to simultaneously insult every woman in the surrounding area. He insisted, “Females in this city, you know, they think their shit don’t stink. They think they’re so great.” By preaching about how he felt wronged by an answer of “no”, it seemed to me that this man felt emasculated.

In my stupor, I replied to this man, “They probably are great. They probably have standards. Why are you talking about them like they’re a different species?” Silence was the only answer to follow my rum-soaked lecture. I can only hope he was digesting my food for thought. He may not have had predatory intentions, but it is impossible to immediately know another person’s boundaries.

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What angered me was that this man felt entitled to a “yes” when he approached women. He nursed his wounds by complaining to the pair of us, assuming we would not retaliate. I have explained to people on multiple occasions that I do not like being touched by anyone. I went on to speak about it on the Funky Feminist Instagram story. It is not a personal attack. I am entitled to say no. It does not strip someone of a power that they never held over my body.

As I have grown and continue to establish my boundaries, my eyes have been opened to the worst in people. No one is entitled to lay their hands on another person without their explicit permission. Children learn in their earliest years of school that they must keep their hands to themselves throughout their lifetimes. They learn that they are equal to their peers, no matter their gender. Why is this forgotten?

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