We asked our followers on the socials “What are the biggest issues you face as a young woman?”.
Here are some of the responses we got back…
- Jennifer The social concepts of how we should look to meet boys’ needs.
- Meg Rape, rape culture, gender stereotypes, poverty, inequality, not feeling they belong, gender binary, lack of opportunities, domestic violence, murder, lack of medical support, lack of right to their body, lack of choice and generally being told "do this, think like that and definitely look/act as thus or you aren't female".
- Julia Probs not the biggest, but something not often noticed – we pay more attention to our toiletries than men do. Check next time you're shopping. :( and I would say sexual harassment, especially in nightclubs.
- Alice Being made to feel guilty because I'm skinny and not being able to walk to my car at night without having to pretend I'm on my phone or have my keys between my fingers.
- Jane Being scared to go out in public at night - fear of assault or rape. Being compared to other girls. Slut-shaming. Not being able to go anywhere wearing a 'short' skirt or shorts because we are objectified or called sluts/bitches by other people.
- Arabella When someone says that women have less ability, skills, knowledge or mental capacity than men – because those stereotypes mean young women don't end up dreaming of becoming a CEO, a manager or prime minister.
- Jo It annoys me when some men automatically respond to conversations about women's issues by listing issues that men face. Discussing women's issues doesn't mean we don't acknowledge or care about problems facing men, it just means that currently we are talking about women and girls!
While most of these responses spoke to the gendered aspects of being a young woman, it's also important to remember that women are diverse and so of course also experience issues related to racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism and class discrimination.
And of course there’s the question of …what to do? Apart from thinking about your own response to the question, and the responses of others, have you thought about talking to people in your life about this issue and what might improve it? Whatever you come up with, it might make a real difference in the life of someone you care about the life of someone you care about.