For the Record: ‘Women don’t owe you anything’

For the Record: ‘Women don’t owe you anything’

This week has been hard. Watching Congress vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh was hard. Watching him, despite multiple accusations of sexual assault, be sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice was hard. If this week has been too much for you, feel free to not read this. If you don’t understand what all the fuss is about, please continue and then read Sharada Weaver’s perspectives piece on page 6.

Women don’t owe you anything.

Women don’t owe you a hello.
Women don’t owe you a smile.
Women don’t owe you vulnerability.
Women don’t owe you emotional energy.
Women don’t owe you passivity.
Women don’t owe you a baby.
Women don’t owe you their bodies.
Women don’t owe you an apology.
Women don’t owe you an explanation.
Women don’t owe you silence.

These situations are controlled by someone who is probably physically bigger than me, someone who has been implicitly told his entire life that he is entitled to me and more important than me.

I can make conscious decisions to not let myself be minimized. I won’t throw in an “I’m sorry” where it’s not needed. I won’t add exclamation marks to my emails or texts so I seem friendlier. I won’t yield to men barrelling down the stairs. I won’t give an answer to “Cardi or Nicki?” I won’t believe I have to decide to be cute or smart or funny. I won’t think twice when I need to defend and promote my professional work, or when I want to comment “WE LOVE A FEMINIST ICON” on the selfies my friends post.

Even so, I will still have to ignore multiple messages from guys I have zero interest in. I will still have to ask my male co-worker to walk with me past the bar next door to the parking lot. I will feel uneasy when a man looks at me just a little too long in the grocery store. I will be expected to shut up and be grateful when a male classmate interrupts me. I will feel afraid that a man will belittle me for writing about these experiences or tell me that they aren’t true or valid.

These situations are controlled by someone who is probably physically bigger than me, someone who has been implicitly told his entire life that he is entitled to me and more important than me.

Women don’t owe you anything.

Women deserve to feel safe.
Women deserve to feel equal.
Women deserve to feel valid.

Women deserve to be believed.

Kristin Troyer, Executive Editor
Kristin Troyer, Executive Editor
Written by Kristin Troyer, Executive Editor

Kristin Troyer works as the executive editor at The Record and oversees all operations. She is a senior public relations major, with minors in Bible & religion and graphic design. Bylines include Hesston College Horizon, Mennonite Disaster Service’s Behind the Hammer, Hesston College Today, Goshen College Bulletin, and more. Formerly, Kristin worked as a staff writer and layout editor at The Record. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kristin_tr and email her at ktroyer@goshen.edu.

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