It saddens me that women still have to fight for feminism rights and respect within this world. Today I tackle a controversial issue that irritates me within the Australian culture… the exploitation of women. After being faced with an incident last week, it has played on my mind, and now it is time I revealed my annoyance with the way women are looked upon as inferior sexualised objects. Australia is supposed to be a pretty advanced society and women’s rights have been successfully implemented over this last century.
Despite the strength of many women, we are still faced with sex-based discrimination bringing an abundance of emotional torment to women every day in this country. Why do some men welcome this exploitation for their mere selfish pleasure? Why do some women allow themselves to be regarded as the inferior sex and settle for being taken advantage of regularly?
Historically, Australia is a male-dominated society, which started way back in 1788 when the British settled upon this land. There has predominantly been a lack of respect and inferiority that continued for many generations. Despite the equity of women becoming more accepted in Australia now… sadly I am reminded that we still have further hurdles.
Thankfully most Australian’s are respectable and there is support for women’s liberation every day around us… and not all men are so superficially challenged. During this last week, I have witnessed both extremes… from very supportive women to the exploitation of women.
After enjoying several performances and shows during the Tamworth Country Music Festival, I was having a wonderful time and enjoying time away from the farm. However, there was one particular performance that really did annoy me… which in my opinion, is working against the progress that women have made. Not to mention names of the “not so great” performing group or venue… the exploitation of a woman within their performance, I found extremely crude and disrespectful. Not funny at all.
To set the stage for you…
A young woman was “selected” from the audience as a volunteer, which may or may not have been part of the act. The attractiveness of the young woman was verbally stated as part of the show… but it was the inappropriateness of the in-depth references to her body parts and blatant sexual advances, that I found very offensive. I am not too much of a prude and I don’t mind a little crudeness for humorous purposes. But the sexual suggestions and inappropriate requests from the all-male performers… such as asking her to stroke the tambourine with intimate references, continuous bending over to take a bow in order to give the drummer a view of her butt in her short shorts, jumping up and down in excitement with men tantalising over bouncing breasts, brazen suggestions for a wet T-shirt to be brought to the stage, the fiddle player “accidentally” on purpose poking her breast with his bow, and the ongoing sexual advances… this was not entertainment but patronising vulgarity.
The saddest part was that this young woman was all too obliging and acted very “ditsy” when carrying on with their show. Her foolishness within this show, made women appear brainless and cheap. It made out as if women are worthless and our purpose is only for the sexual connotations for men. This notion is so prehistoric and I found it crude that this was depicted in this way. This type of presumptuous demeanor is a tragic insult to women in general.
Women have come so far in this world with equality, through women’s liberation and feminism, and our value has finally been acknowledged. Sadly, I felt sorry for this woman being exploited (whether she realised it or not). I felt sorry for the women in the audience (mainly an older generation)… thinking that this was normal back in their day and not considered sexual harassment at all. And I felt sorry for the men that watched (and maybe quietly enjoyed the show) whether they realised it was disrespectful or not. As a mother of 2 sons, I would be disgusted and disappointed if my sons treated women like this… and I am grateful that my husband respects women and is not superficial.
I watched the show for a short while, despite their early warning that their aim was to offend people and challenge political incorrectness. I really thought the show could be quite funny. Once I realised that this show was far too objectionable for my liking, I did leave the venue, as a personal statement that I did not support the exploitation of women by anyone.
Women are not sexual objects… they do need men to drool over their superficial looks and sexuality. Women want to feel like a work of art… not a “piece of meat”. Women have thoughts and feelings… they have opinions and talent… they deserve to be treated with dignity and regarded as an equal gender. No more, no less, equal.
Although the disrespect may be evoked by many men in our community, it is women who allow them to be disrespectful towards them. Women must realise their worth and stand up for themselves. As women, we need to promote the well-being of all women. If we are more liberated, the men will see that we deserve the respect we seek.
In a paradoxical moment, only several days later, I was able to witness a heartfelt supportive woman. I attended Beccy Cole’s concert and enjoyed her fun-loving stage presence, her humour and her music. Something that stuck with me… at the end of her show, her outspoken statements in support of feminism. She just wants women to be nice to each other and accept ourselves for who we are. Women need to support each other and boost each other up. Her kind words really resonated with me, as I totally support this notion.
Similarly, when I attended another big concert “Country Turns Pink” which was raising funds for the McGrath Foundation, I witnessed another inspiring event. Many music artists showed their support at this event and of women in general. Beautiful music and lyrics touched the audience thanks to artists such as Tania Kernaghan, Gina Jeffreys, Beccy Cole, Adam Harvey and Amber Lawrence.
I would like to share this song I enjoyed when sung by Amber Lawrence as I really loved the beautiful lyrics… “Cheers to the Girls”. The uplifting song is about women realising their own worth, taking back their power, standing up for themselves and following their dreams. I am sure that every girl and woman can relate to this song and has felt these sort of feelings at some point in their lives. This is what we should be promoting for women… and we deserve nothing less. Listen and enjoy!
Take care, Karen.
“Women of Worth
She is someone’s daughter
She is someone’s friend
She is someone’s sister
She is someone…”
~ Author Unknown
Video Credit: Amber Lawrence & YouTube