My Commute Home Today/Why We Still Need Feminism

In New York City 4.3 million people ride the rails everyday. During rush hour it can feel like billions. Everyone is tired from work and would rather be somewhere else. No one takes the train for a joyride, it’s your vessel from point A to point B. In the throngs of all these commuters there are certain rules of respect that are unspoken: you move out of the way of the doors at stops, you don’t stare, you offer your seat to children, and you generally try not to make anyone feel uncomfortable while you are sharing such close quarters. However, on my way home from the train today, a single mother was hit in the face.

Her skin was scratched and instead of taking the train home to her son she had to drag some ass hole off at the Broadway-Lafayette stop. I understand altercations can happen when it’s ninety degrees and you are pushed up against 10 strangers but I can’t believe someone would move to strike another person. The most horrible part about being witness to this numbing experience was the outcries of people telling her to be quiet…and not to swear….that children are on the train.

From back of the car I was frozen in disbelief.  Here is this poor woman, who has been up since four am, trying to get home to see her son – which I learned because she was screaming it at the man who had assaulted her. Instead of being like, “Yeah, this guy is scumbag get him off the train,” another woman told the victim to hold her tongue.

I’m sorry but if I’m trying to get home after a long days work, I get into a fight with someone, and they put their hands on me, fucking forgive me if I drop the f bomb. I can’t believe that this is acceptable behavior in the most progressive city in the world. I can’t believe this is how we treat our women.  Someone would honestly rather she take the physical abuse silently then speak out and stand up for herself.

Now I’ve been getting a lot of questions about feminism lately, why it matters, isn’t it an old fashion believe, why would we need that now? and I’ll tell you right now that stuff like this is why. Women should be able to scream on aplane, train, or automobile if they are being violated in anyway. The days of viewing women as second class citizens might not be over, but I am over it. Everyday we make less to the dollar (77 cents) than our male counterparts while we pay the same amount of money for our education. Women who spend an arm and a leg receiving that education then get to work in positions where a negligible percentage of them are in leadership roles.  On top of that women are jeered at and put down in the workplace for their success as being selfish in their roles as mothers (however more women than ever are choosing not to have children, I wonder why).  Instead women are viewed as trophies or physical objects – according to the Psychological Science journal studies have proven that while men are view as wholes human beings women in society are objectified by their distinguishable parts.

And that’s exactly what happened today on the train- this woman was not seen as an equal, she was an object to be hit and disrespected. And that’s why we need feminism in 2013, because we are all in this boat and we all feel the waves when it goes down. If it sounds like I’m angry and upset its because I am. And if we continue to view women in our society as accessories to men and unable to compete on the same level shit like this will continue to happen.

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