The other day I was thinking about the relationship between the way men think and the way women want men to think...about feminism. Keeping in mind of course that I can't read people's minds and I'm about to make some generalizations here.
Women want to be equal. Women deserve to be equal to men, that should go without saying. People are people. Your political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, skin colour, or attitudes do not make you 'less than' someone else. Neither does it make you 'more than' someone else. People are simply people. And yet men don't seem to see women as equals. Why? Maybe because men picture the women they know in sexual situations.
In reading this list, one item caught my eye. It was "Fantasized about their female friends. Yes...all of them". I asked around a bit and found this was actually true. Men think of the women they know as sexual objects. I asked women if they fantasized about all their male friends and the answer was no. Some men are the objects of smutty thoughts in women, but not as many as women are in men's thoughts.
If men are thinking of women as sexual objects then I just can't see how they will ever fully respect women as human beings. Especially if those fantasies are where the man is dominant.
And women are perpetuating these thoughts in men. Yes, they are. The Slut Walk is all about women being able to wear whatever they want and not be the reason she is raped. Whether or not the Slut Walk is a good idea or not is a long post for another day, and I'm not condoning rape of any kind.
By wearing overtly sexual clothing the woman is providing the man with the visual stimuli he wants. He is picturing his female friends in sexual situations anyway, and it's easier for him if the woman is dressed in tiny, tight, revealing clothing. If women don't want to be the object of the man's spank bank, then dressing in that manner is counter-productive to her aims. How can women ever be considered equal if men are looking at them and assessing them for sexy time thoughts?
Some women would say that men simply need to stop thinking like that, and to start thinking of women in a better, more respectable light. This isn't going to happen. If it is truly a man's nature to think of women as potential sex partners (much research is needed to find out if men have thought this way from the beginning of time, from the beginning of revealing clothing, or from the beginning of widely available imagery of naked women...aka the Internet), then telling them to stop thinking like that won't work. And if women can tell men to stop thinking like that, then men have the right to tell women how to think about an issue as well. Equality - remember?
My attitude is that if women want more respect from men then women need to present themselves in a more respectable manner to men. Create a world where men see women as more than fantasy fodder. Women have come a long way - no question - but we still have far to go in terms of equality.