We write articles we think you want to read, about issues we think you care about. But it’s always good to check in and find out for sure.
In February 2016, we asked young women from our Facebook community to tell us about the biggest issues they face. This* is what they said…
(*paraphrased and in no particular order)
- The very real and constant threat of rape and sexual harassment.
- Slut-shaming and being told you’re ‘asking for it’ for wearing ‘revealing’ outfits.
- Being told to ‘dress appropriately’, not walk alone at night and learn self-defence – Are guys told to do these things?
- Expectations to adhere to particular standards of ‘attractiveness’ – guilt when you do, guilt when you don’t.
- Pressure to wear makeup and ‘women’s products’.
- The price of (and luxury tax on) sanitary pads and tampons.
- Assertions that women have less ability, skills, knowledge or mental capacity.
- Career, wage and superannuation inequality.
- Lack of encouragement in education to pursue currently male-dominated jobs/careers
- Being labelled as ‘self-centred’, ‘power-hungry’ or ‘too ambitious’ when pursuing a career.
- The expectation that – eventually – you’ll become a wife and mother.
- Being patronised/dominated by men – “Listen lovely, it’s not a problem - Just let the men fix that…”
- Stereotypes and rigid gender roles – a female in charge is not a ‘ball breaker’; she’s a CEO, a manager, a Prime Minister…
- Bullying and in-fighting amongst groups of women, rather than support and solidarity.
- Lack of education around effects of hormone/contraception-related changes, e.g. mood-swings, migraines, weight gain/loss.
- Manspreading on public transport (dude, you get one seat – close your legs!)
- Being told by men they suffer just as much discrimination as women.
- Expectations to engage in submissive and demeaning sex as per modern-day porn.
- Not being able to talk about sexism, inequality or feminism without ‘men’s rights activists’ insisting women are making it up, too sensitive or that men have it worse.
So, you've told us what's on your mind and what you're not liking about being a young woman - firstly, thank you, thank you, thank you to all y'all who spoke up - it's so good to get your input. Our next step is to put together articles that discuss some of these issues. Standby...
In the meantime, if you or someone you know is finding it hard to deal with any of the stuff above, check out our Get Help page. And if you feel there’s something not on this list, or want to see some of the other comments, check out the post on Facebook.