You know how whenever you try to discuss women’s rights, there’s always that one person who’s like, “Sexism is over!” and it takes everything inside of you not to explode into a million angry feminist pieces right in front of them?
The next jerk who tries to tell you “sexism” isn’t a thing that exists, feel free to direct them to local television station Fox CT’s latest blunder. Today, March 13, 2013 — during Women’s History Month and just a few short days after International Women’s History Day — Fox CT “covered” a celebration of Women’s Day in Connecticut. By using camera footage strategically zoomed into women’s breasts.
To top it off, Huffington Post has reported that the footage was used twice — so obviously this was intentional.
Fox CT tweeted (yep, that’s all we get) an “apology” after people expressed outrage over the incident.
Here’s the thing: whoever thought this would be some type of funny joke is a sexist jerk. Whoever didn’t cut the video is a sexist jerk. Whoever let it air not once, but twice, is a sexist jerk. Whoever posted that weak attempt at an “apology” is a sexist jerk. Whoever defends this video is a sexist jerk. Whoever says, “Hey, lighten up!” is a sexist jerk.
What’s more exhausting to me, though, is that things like this happen all the time. And so many still insist there’s no such thing as sexism. (Or racism, but that is for another time.)
Every time a woman earns significantly less for doing the same job as a man, that’s sexism.
Every time a woman is cat-called on the street, that’s sexism.
Every time a woman is told ways not to get raped rather than men being told not to rape, that’s sexism.
Every time a woman tries to play a video game but finds there isn’t an option to play a girl, but there are several characters that are boys she can choose from, that’s sexism.
Every time a woman is called a slut or a whore for the private decisions she makes in her sex life, that’s sexism.
Every time a woman is told she doesn’t have a right to make choices that impact her body, that’s sexism.
Every time a woman must suffer through a “get back into the kitchen” joke, that’s sexism.
Every time a woman is called a bitch for putting a guy in the “friend zone,” when really, she’s just exercising her right to say, “I’m not interested,” that’s sexism.
Every time a woman, or little girl, is discouraged from pursuing math or science, that’s sexism.
Every time a woman is celebrated for only her body, that’s sexism.
Every time a woman must hear that “all women” are dramatic and catty and cruel and petty, that’s sexism.
Every time a woman in Hollywood is asked how she’s dieting or what her exercise regime is while that celebrity’s male co-stars are asked to elaborate on the role and share their thoughts, that’s sexism.
Every time a woman in politics is dissected not for their political views, but for what they look like, what they wear, and whether or not they’re “fuckable,” that’s sexism.
Every time a woman is told she’s “not as good” at something as her male peers — in the workplace, in school, at home — that’s sexism.
I could go on forever. I could type until my hands bleed. But I won’t, because if you’re here, if you’re reading this, if you’ve made it this far, you likely already know this. It’s getting everyone else to understand that’s the hard part.
Some days, I want to break down and cry because the problems feel so big. It feels like too much. On top of the injustices women face, there’s that whole intersectionality thing — where the problems by women are felt exponentially by women of color, heterosexual women, poor women.
But I won’t ever give up. I can’t give up. This fight — for all of us, for you, for me, for our grandmothers and mothers and sisters and cousins and friends and kids and grandkids — depends on us. You with me?