you don’t own me
Oh, I don’t tell you what to say
I don’t tell you what to do
So just let me be myself
That’s all I ask of you
A PSA is going around the internet at the moment, aimed at women voters in America. A bunch of female identified people are lip synching to Lesley Gore’s 1963 song, “You Don’t Own Me.” Gore finishes off the PSA with a statement that essentially says: I can’t believe we’re still protesting this shit.
I’m young and I love to be young
I’m free and I love to be free
To live my life the way I want
I feel this PSA also relates completely to the current political environment in Australia. I’m tired of people (mostly male identified people) telling me what I can and can’t do with my body. I’m tired of being judged for what I choose to do with my body, from the clothing that I wear to the makeup I put on it. I’m tired.
This world is hostile to women. We aren’t free. This world is even more hostile to women who are people of colour, who have disabilities, who are queer, who identify as other genders. I don’t aim to speak for these people. I feel like it would be condescending as I don’t identify as all of the above. But I do want to bring it up to acknowledge that I know, along with white, Western women, women of colour, women with disabilities, homosexual women, people who identify as other genders are also (even more so) marginalised, judged and vilified by the world. Killed by the world.
I get tired of constantly fighting all the time. Of always having to speak up for myself. Of calling out people when they say shitty things. I wish we had an inclusive world but I know we don’t. I know we need to speak up. To refuse to be ignored and marginalised. To demand respect and attention. To call out –cist behaviour when we see and witness it. But what about when it isn’t safe for us to do so?
When women, even in the Western world are jailed, raped, beaten, and killed for speaking their mind? For simply voicing an opinion.
I don’t know how to solve this. I know having a voice is essential. I know that teaching respect is paramount.
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