ReAL TaLk

WOMEN’S WORTH & VALUE, & Gabrielle Union

I just finished reading Gabrielle Union’s new book, We’re Going to Need More Wine.  I thoroughly enjoyed the book.  She writes candidly, and her stories are relatable.  I admire her, and wish I could sit down and talk with her.  Women go through a lot.  A lot.  In Gabrielle Union’s book, she discusses difficult topics which range from rape to conflicts with family.  Ms. Union talks about how difficult it was for her when she read her prenup to find out that if she had a child with Mr. Wade, that her “value” financially would increase.  She seems to have come to terms with it, but wrote that she still struggles  with the knowledge that her “value” is “more” if she births a child.

The fact that society and its inhabitants deem women more “valuable” if they reproduce is unfair and sad to me.  A man’s “worth” and “value” doesn’t decrease if he doesn’t have children.  Men aren’t expected to be good fathers, to take care of the kids, or to aid in reproduction, necessarily.

Why is it that women who can’t, or who choose not to reproduce, are deemed “less than”?  We have plenty of people on this planet………., and even if we didn’t………..women’s value and worth should not be determined by their choices to have children or not.  If we still lived in the Stone Ages, and hadn’t have evolved, maybe I can understand this mentality, a smidge….maybe.  But……we don’t.  Yet, we do live in the 21st century where women are still stoned to death for being raped in Middle Eastern countries.  Yes.  A woman who is raped in some Middle Eastern countries is deemed “no longer valuable to her family”, and a shame to them as well.  WTF?  So, an abominable man forces himself on, and violates a woman, and it’s HER fault…and SHE is the one who should be ashamed and shamed?  This mindset makes me think that I am living in an altered reality.  How is this ok?  How, on earth, can this mindset be rationalized by anyone who has logic, intellect, compassion, a heart, and a brain?

Recently in an interview with Jada Pinkett Smith, Ms. Union talked about how society and women think that in order to be a good wife, or a good future wife, that a woman should have the propensity to handle enormous amounts of pain.  She said she’s not interested in that.  She wants to enjoy her life.  These words were like honey to a bee to me.  I am not interested in suffering through pain anymore.  I want to enjoy my life.  I can’t begin to speak for Ms. Union or understand the depths of her own meaning of this.  But for me, it seems that society rewards women for “sticking” by their man no matter the pain they choose to allow to be inflicted upon themselves.  By enduring pain, it’s like a badge of honor for women, like that’s what makes them good.  It’s not.  Women should not do this, nor should they have to.

Advertising plays into one of human’s scariest weaknesses–Lust.  That’s probably what 95% of advertising is.  Why else would women pose in clothes and underwear with their crotches being the center of the ad?  For crying out loud.  I don’t buy shorts or pants because they make my crotch look good, do you?  Advertisements magnify the model and his/her crotch to play to your most primal downfalls.  You too, can have a great crotch and be sexy in these pants…..give me a break.  Who fricking cares.

The shallowness that advertising perpetuates is sickening.  Yes…all women, would have more value if they wore matching bra and panties, had their hair and makeup done by professionals every moment of every day, had personal trainers and chefs, and posed in provocative poses all day.  You, too, if you are a woman, could then, be seen as beautiful, and wait for it………..valued by men!  Why?  Because you’d appeal to them sexually—and that’s the most important thing you can do as a woman.  I hope you note the sarcasm in my tone.  These ads are unrealistic, unhealthy, and promote much toxic propaganda as to women’s value.

Society sometimes indicates that it wants to value women more, that it wants to see women as human beings, and not just objects or vessels.  If it truly does, it needs a Renaissance.  Advertising needs to change.  Yes, this might cost companies money, but it will help contribute to mental wellness.   Sexism, ageism, misogyny needs to be stopped in its tracks; not tolerated-at all.  People need to be taught better boundaries, need to learn to adhere to boundaries, need to be taught respect, self control, consideration, and what’s appropriate and what’s not.

As a woman, I refuse to cave to the standards that society so violently thrusts in my face.

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