Bitches and Hoes

“Am I not supposed to have an opinion? Should I keep quiet just because I’m a woman?” -Christina Aguilera

I never considered myself a feminist. If anything, I fight more for gay rights and environmental policy more than the cause for my fellow females. It’s not that I overlook these feminine beliefs; I just would one day hope to see everyone marry whomever they want regardless of gender while breathing in clean air. I was upset when certain services at Planned Parenthood were cut but not enough to write my Congressman about it. The disappearance of the arts in public school is devastating, especially for kids like me who would have dropped out of school if it wasn’t for my band and theatre programs. Yet, I choose not to do anything to help. I know that there are many problems in this world but as one person, I can’t fight in all of these battles with expectations to win.

I had the pleasure of meeting LV back in December. She is a proud member of a lady gang based out of Los Angeles and we bonded over our love for Gwen Stefani and the old school, pin-up fashion. She asked me to purchase one of her gang’s tank shirt, in support of women entrepreneurism. I bought one and wore it when it finally became nice outside. I donned it almost the entire day when a co-worker asked me about what the initials stamped on the front meant. I explained to her about my encounter with LV and her lady gang out in LA…
Co-worker: “You support that?”
Me: “I’m sorry. Support what?”
Co-worker: “Those gangs. Gangs like that beat the s**t out of people.”
Me: “Well, I don’t know anything about that. I was just trying to help out a small business. I know how hard it must be to run one.”
Co-worker: “So, you support that illegal stuff, like prostitution?”
Me: “Prostitution? Where I’m from, it’s legal.”
Co-worker: “You’d do that, be a hooker?”
Me: “No, I wouldn‘t. But I understand why some people are.”
Co-worker: “That’s sick.”
Me: “Well, then. You don’t know what it’s like to go to bed hungry.”

Although, the act of selling your body doesn’t ruffle my feathers; it’s people’s attitudes and judgment to someone who is trying to earn her keep that do. When I was living in Reno, I met a prostitute through the Couchsurfing social network. Rachel was (and I’m sure still is) beautiful and kind, warm and wonderful; everything that I thought the stereotypical hooker would not be. I had no place to judge her and her actions when I know I don’t live a perfect life.

I have written about stereotypes before. It’s 2011 and we’re still fighting race and profession wars. But how about the sex war? Especially between women, we commonly call each other names and awful obscenities. We get upset when a man disrespect us but we let the rudeness slide when the word is spoken by a woman. Bitch? Does aggressively passionate woman deserve to be called that? I think of my little sister’s zealous opinions and how that will make her a great lawyer one day. Slut? I like sex and I’m proud to admit it- does that make me a whore? Let’s not forget all the judgment we place on each other’s physical beings, calling each other, “fat pigs” or “uber-anorexic“ behind our backs. Words do hurt. They sting; they hurt hearts and bruise egos. We women need to take a stand against this form of cruelty against each other.

At a concert I went to this last Wednesday, the performer kept on calling the audience his brothers and sisters. Thinking about, not just in a holy, Biblical sense, we all are brothers and sisters. We need to be treating each other as such. I’m not suggesting to run up to the nearest stranger and tackle them with a bear hug (I certainly don’t do that to my sisters, however, random strangers- yes); just remember that we should be bringing everyone up, not putting them down. Everyone deserves respect. So, bite your tongue and think before you speak. Maybe this could be the battle that we all victoriously win and triumph from.

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