WELCOME TO THE STAND UP! RASASH BLOG.
Let's take a stand against sexual violence!
by Mary Ellen McIntyre, 17
Beautiful. Skinny. Sexy. Voluptuous. Perfect. Even at 16, I recognise that these are the qualities which you must possess to be a “proper” woman. But before I started working as a Stand Up! Ambassador, I didn’t recognise that sexual violence, and the inequalities and misogynism that go hand in hand with it, are round every corner.
The definition of rape is not something that happens down a dark alley between a drunken woman and a stranger. And the definition of sexual abuse is flexible too – in fact, it’s something that happens way more often that society would care to acknowledge.
For example – a young woman, still in her teens, walking down a street in the middle of the day. When she gets suggestive comments called out to her - that’s sexual abuse. It may be brushed off as flattery, or as a compliment. Call it what you like, street harassment is sexual violence. Why, in 2015, do people still fail to realise that?
People of all genders are stereotyped the moment they’re born, whether they’re wrapped in pink or blue. Men are expected to be powerful, strong and always in control, whilst women are supposed to be good-looking sex objects who obediently obey their partners. And those who don’t identify with either gender don’t matter at all.
Just look at adverts we see on TV, music we listen to and magazines we read. What kind of images are they portraying to the next generation – MY generation? And how can we stop our minds being poisoned in this way?
With Stand Up!, our message is clear. It’s time to speak out and speak loud – to stand up against sexual violence in all forms. Only once we start sending out a different message, once we start realising it’s OK for men to cry and women to be more than pretty, then will we be better equipped to fight against abuse. And it’s a fight we all need to start today – so that the next generation of youngsters will be able to grow up in a world where they feel free to be who they want – strong, capable, confident, and free.
Welcome to the Stand Up! platform for young people's voices from across the Scottish Highlands. This site showcases quality pieces of writing on topics relating to gender-based violence from passionate young writers who want to get their voices heard.