Whether you want to admit it or not, women get blamed for a lot of unfair things that aren’t actually our fault. Yes, it’s 2016, and we’ve progressed a lot in terms of gender issues – but there is no denying that sexism is still alive and well. We see this every day, even if we choose to ignore it, and sometimes things happen in pop culture that show us exactly how real the struggle is. Case in point: the whole messy situation going on with Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Rachel Roy.
If you are a human being with a pulse, then I’m sure you have at least heard of (if not watched on repeat all of Sunday) Beyonce’s Lemonade special on HBO. The mysterious hour-long program ended up being Queen Bey releasing a visual album that hit everyone right in the feels – not just because it was that good, but also because it seemed to be a confirmation that Jay-Z did, in fact, cheat on Beyonce. The rumor that Jay cheated on Bey is nothing new, but neither star has ever confronted it… until now. Years ago, it was reported that Jay had something going on with Rihanna, and just last year, we all watched with open mouths as Jay and Solange got in their epic elevator fight, which was supposedly about the fact that Jay had cheated with designer Rachel Roy. Beyonce seemed to address that during much of Lemonade, with lyrics that seem like they can’t be about anything else.
What does this have to do with sexism? I’m getting there! One of Bey’s lyrics from “Sorry” were, “He only want me when I’m not on there / He better call Becky with the good hair” which seemed to be about the person Jay allegedly cheated with. Shortly after it was released, designer Rachel Roy posted this on Instagram, which has since been deleted:
This immediately led to an attack from the Beyhive that was so bad it forced Rachel to make her Instagram private (it’s no longer private) and cancel a public event. And this is where the sexism comes in. Take a look at the reactions to the Beyonce/Jay/Rachel drama – you see more people attacking Rachel than you do attacking Jay. Why? Because Rachel is getting the blame for Jay’s actions, because that’s how it goes in these love triangle situations. Let’s discuss this, and more, with these 10 crazy things you’ll get blamed for just because you’re a woman. Don’t believe me? Read on for real examples:
A Guy Cheating On His Significant OtherOkay, so let's discuss this whole Rachel/Jay/Bey thing a little bit more. I already mentioned how Rachel Roy has been attacked for allegedly hooking up with Jay-Z, but Jay hasn't received nearly as much backlash. While fans are sending Rachel death threats and slut-shaming messages, humor-filled statements like these are being said about Jay-Z. The "other woman" getting most of the blame for a guy cheating is nothing new, and it's not fair. If Rachel and Jay really did hook up while he was with Beyonce, did she do the wrong thing? Yes. Was her initial Instagram post about "Becky with the good hair" a good idea? Definitely not. Should she take part of the blame if she did hook up with a married man? Yes - she should take 50 percent of that blame. The point is this: if a guy cheats on his significant other, it's his fault and it's the fault of the other woman. Two people made the wrong decision and two people made the hookup happen. But in many cases, the woman is blamed for luring the man away from his S.O. The woman is blamed for the actions of the man. The woman is called a slut and a whore and a bitch. In many cases, the guy is defended in some way. I've heard people justify a guy cheating by saying things like, "His girlfriend is such a bitch though" or "He was really unhappy." At the same time, those people are villainizing the woman he cheated with. It doesn't matter if a girl goes after an attached guy - he can make up his own mind on whether or not he wants to act on it. Let's stop acting like all of the blame should be placed on one person. Source
Boys Not Being Able To Pay Attention In SchoolIn the last few years, we've watched school dress codes get out of control. It's one thing when a dress code has a girl not wear a super short skirt or a very revealing crop top. Some items of clothing aren't appropriate in a school setting, and that's valid. But it's a whole other thing when girls are being sent home for wearing tank tops because their shoulders are bared, or being suspended for wearing leggings that cover their legs but just happen to be a little tight. Schools defend these super strict dress code rules by saying that when a girl shows her body at school, she distracts the boys around her, and then they can't focus on their work. So, let's just get that straight: girls are punished because a boy could not stop looking at her. Is that in any way fair? Absolutely not. Source: Tumblr
CatcallingEvery single woman out there has experienced catcalling, to the point where it has become expected, commonplace, and almost background noise. The fact that guys choose to yell out disgusting, pornographic, and objectifying comments is their fault, right? Nope, not according to a lot of people. A lot of people say that it's a girl's fault: that if we wear revealing or tight clothing, we're "asking for it." So... just walking around means we're asking for it? It's gross, and needs to stop. Source
Sexual Abuse or AssaultAll of these posts are basically examples of victim blaming, but this is definitely one of the more serious cases. It's 2016, and women are still regularly blamed for being raped or sexually abused. People justify a rapists' actions by saying the girl was wearing something too revealing, that the girl was too drunk or high (remember the Steubenville case?), that the girl didn't say "no" loud enough, that the girl shouldn't have been flirting with the guy if she didn't intend to do anything... the list for why a guy would rape goes on and on, but the one takeaway is this: if the girl had done something differently, she wouldn't have been raped. In essence, it was her fault. Let's get one thing clear, though: whenever there is rape or sexual abuse, only one person is responsible for it: the rapist or abuser. That's it. It doesn't matter what the girl did or what she wore - the only thing that matters is that the guy did something he knew he wasn't supposed to be doing. Source
Domestic ViolenceVictim blaming is also a very serious issue when it comes to domestic violence. Domestic violence refers to violence in a relationship. The majority of domestic violence cases are men who abused women (although the reverse also happens), and people are quick to blame the woman. People blame women for this by saying things like she was bitchy, she was controlling, she cheated, she was boring, she wasn't a good girlfriend, she was annoying, etc. Remember when Chris Brown hit Rihanna? Fans of his went out of their way to blame it on Rihanna, and after a little bit of punishment from society, Chris is back and more famous than ever. There is NEVER an excuse for domestic violence. It doesn't matter what the girl does - she doesn't deserve to get hit or beat. This terrible view of abused women needs to stop.
Someone Else's Low Self-EsteemLow self-esteem sucks - I totally get that. But I hate when women blame their low self-esteem on another woman. I've heard girls say things like, "I feel bad about myself because some girls post pictures in their bikinis and make me feel like I have to look like that." Blame societal expectations, old-fashioned magazines, and Hollywood as a whole for how women feel they have to look - but don't blame another woman's confidence for your low self-esteem. Don't tear another woman done for choosing to show off her body because you're jealous. Source: Tumblr
ObjectificationObjectification of women refers to the act of a woman being used only as an object of a male's affection. It refers to advertisements like this one from American Apparel that show women as nothing more than a sex toy. It refers to ads and videos that use women as only sex symbols and nothing more. It refers to ads and other things that sell something using a woman's naked body. Objectification comes from decades of societal beliefs that are ingrained in so many of us - and from long, old-fashioned sexism. Makes sense, right? Sure, but a lot of people don't believe that. Many people blame women for objectification of women, saying that if women didn't show off their bodies, it wouldn't exist. Never mind the fact that women can choose what they want to do with their bodies, right?!
People Not Taking Them SeriouslyA lot of women have trouble being taken seriously because of their body, how they look, or just because they're female. This happens because of old sexism ingrained in our minds, but a lot of people just like to blame women. I've heard people say it's a woman's fault for having large breasts (which are seen as sexual no matter what and can be very hard to hide) or for being too "feminine." These are only two examples. If a woman isn't being taken seriously just because she's a woman - that is not her fault.
A Guy Flirting WIth Someone Who Isn't His S.O.Similar to cheating, women are more likely to get blamed for a guy flirting with someone who isn't his girlfriend than the guy is. How many times have you heard a story like this: a dude messages a girl who isn't his girlfriend saying something perverted, and the girl tells his girlfriend. The girlfriend defends her BF and attacks the girl. It happens all the time! People are much more apt to come up with excuses for the guy's behavior and blame the girl for bringing it upon herself. It's ridiculous. Source
Being Crazy For Having EmotionsWhen women show the same emotions men do, they often get called "crazy." Examples: when a guy declares his love in an over-the-top way, even if knows the girl isn't interested, it's seen as romantic and cute. If a girl does it, it's desperate and weird. If a guy admits he stalks his ex on Instagram, it's sweet and sad. If a girl admits it, she's an insane stalker. If a guy begs for his ex back in every possible way, it's romantic and he's dedicated. If a girl does it, she's a psycho. I can go on! Girls aren't crazy for feeling things and expressing their emotions. Sure, some things are over the line and not okay - but just being emotional? Let's stop making girls feel bad for that. Source
Which of these things do you not agree with? What did we forget to include? Let me know in the comments.