Lily Allen’s tongue-in-cheek single “Hard Out Here” states in no uncertain terms, “It’s hard out here for a bitch,” and the song and music video are, for lack of better words, a kick in the balls.
In classic Allen fashion, she uses humor, profanity, and bubblegum pop sound to tackle serious societal issues. “Hard Out Here” is a feminist take on the double standards for men and women.
While this feminist theme has been covered many times in the past (anyone remember Christina Aguilera and Lil’ Kim’s “Can’t Hold Us Down” circa 2002?), “Hard Out Here” is a perfectly-timed release.
The last couple years have been a losing battle for female equality, and it appears that 2015 could be more of the same.
Blogger Doobster418 at his blog Mindful Digressions broke down the statistics of the 114th Congress, and it’s not pretty. How many women make up Congress, you ask?
20%. Yes. 80% of Congress members are men. America, the land of equal opportunity, has a dismally unequal Congress. I hope I’m not the only one shaking my head.
As Allen writes in her single, “Inequality promises that it’s here to stay/Always trust the injustice cause it’s not going away.” At a time like this, these lyrics clearly describe a country where many citizens are blind to the blatant sexism between men and women.
In honor of the new year, I wrote a post about 15 reasons why being a woman rocks in 2015. Even before typing it, the temptation to rage about the bull women live with was brewing deep in my brain. I knew the post would have a rebuttal. Feminism is a two-sided coin, after all. It’s a movement that is progressive throughout history, and like any other equality movement, the battle is never over.
Here is the post that I’ve been itching to write. The 15 reasons it’s hard out here for a bitch.
1. Two words: pay gap. If you are someone who has a vagina, you will always be paid less than someone with a penis for doing the exact same job. Why? Because you have a vagina, my dear.
2. Bachelor married at 53? Sexy!
Bachelorette married at 42? Old hag! (and she must be pregnant!)
3. If you don’t have kids, you aren’t a real woman. You’re a fake woman. Because you are only a womb.
4. But if you do have kids and live in America, you are living in the only developed country without guaranteed paid maternity leave.
5. You could be arrested for having a miscarriage in America. Seriously. If a woman has a miscarriage, it could be interpreted as an attempted home abortion, and she needs to go to court to defend her case. This is the world we live in, folks. Just a reminder: it’s 2015, not 1815.
6. You have two choices:
Yes, those are your only two choices.
7. Ever heard of the Thinspiration movement? It’s an online movement to promote anorexia.
Just when society is beginning to turn around and say, “Ladies, you can eat,” the Thinspiration movement takes over the internet to tear women down and make them feel bad about themselves. The movement gives “inspirational” pictures of thin women girls can look to for what they should hope to look like. That sounds healthy.
8. If being anorexic isn’t your thing, fear not! Another movement has threatened to demolish Thinspiration’s popularity. It’s the Fitspiration movement. The exact same thing as Thinspiration, but jamming in the word “fit” to replace “thin.” What’s the difference between “fit” and “thin”? Good question. There’s a blog post for that.
9. The 90’s was a beautiful decade because the Spice Girls ruled the world with Girl Power. Dance break! With the explosion of social media (and the obsession with selfies), it’s become easier for women to hate on each other. We’ve become divided as a gender. We judge women to build ourselves up, and that is only hurting us.
10. The Men’s Rights Movement. Do I agree with equal rights for everyone? Of course. But a movement for a bunch of whiny men who think they’re oppressed because women have a voice? Give me a f***ing break. Men have had more rights than women for hundreds, heck, thousands of years. Now that the playing field is more equal, the men behind this (mostly online) movement are bitching a fit? I’m willing to bet this movement gained popularity online because these people don’t have the balls to say any of this crap in public:
“It’s pretty standard knowledge around here that an average woman has a much easier time getting sex, and it takes a disproportionate amount of effort for men (the 80/20 rule here).
My goal in life is to become Nietzsche’s Ubermensch, the epitome of a human, or Maslow’s Self-Efficacy. With that life goal in mind, I actually enjoy it being more difficult to become the top male in order to get sex. Sleeping with girls easily in life, is just a challenge, an obstacle for me to overcome. A worthy opponent, sexual economics, put right in my face, testing me to see if I overcome it.
Sex is easier for girls, and therefore they don’t appreciate the average male’s struggle for economic dominance. Good. It helps separate the herd. They’ll never have to work as hard to be the best, and therefore will never have to develop their personalities, social acumen, or fitness as much as men do. Now given these traits do help acquire a higher quality mate for girls, but they aren’t necessary to get the carnal pleasures, or just an average mate in general.”
Boo hoo, this poor man can’t get the ladies, and so this means that women have an easier time finding men. Sure dude, that makes perfect sense.
The tragedy in this movement is that some women are even joining their forces. I know, right? Here is an, um, interesting example of a woman who I will not name in this post, for the same reason I did not cite the male’s whiny quote: because I had to go to the dark corners of the internet, and I do not wish for anyone to unwillingly stumble upon this craziness. Anyway, here’s a woman who is fighting for the rights of oppressed men everywhere:
“When you think about the kind of life that many men end up having, it really says something about the disregard we hold men in, that we can chain them to that kind of obligation without providing them any kind of benefit of choice or freedom. We have a word for that, and that word is slavery.”
That’s right. This woman believes that (predominantly white) men today are so oppressed that we can compare them to slaves.
The face says it all.
11. The existence of Fox News, AKA “Faux News.” This “news” station is dedicated to brainwashing people who don’t know any better, filling their minds with misinformation. In fact, studies show that you’re better off watching no news at all than Fox News. Not only do their newscasters have no idea what they’re talking about, but many of them, along with other extreme conservatives, are blatantly sexist. These guys are stupid enough to state their uneducated opinions on national television, whereas the men behind the Men’s Rights Movement hide behind computer screens. I have a feeling the amount of money Fox newscasters make has something to do with that.
I have a bad feeling they’re serious.
12. No matter how many years pass by, or how many rights we gain, we are still mainly physical beings, and society continues to feed into this depressing philosophy.
13. Slut shaming. In other words, when people blame women for being sluts.
Case in point: the iCloud celebrity photo hack. Some people blamed the celebrities themselves for the hack, claiming that they shouldn’t have taken naked photos in the first place. It’s their fault some douchebag invaded their privacy, stole their photos, and leaked them online! Those sluts!
But don’t worry. Jennifer Lawrence fired back in a Vanity Fair interview, and showed those slut shamers how wrong they were.
Lawrence also said in the article that she has nothing to be sorry about and that this was a sex crime. She is completely right.
14. The idea that women “having it all” is a perfect marriage, the socially acceptable amount of kids, and a socially accepted career. For 2015, you’d think we’d be more creative than that. Yes, some women want all of those things, but isn’t it a little naive to assume that EVERY woman does?
15. Finally, in all of American history, how many female presidents have we had?
ZERO. I would be so proud if this changes within my lifetime.
It’s hard out here for a bitch, and this list stops at 15 when it could go on for ages. In many countries around the world, women are raped and murdered for speaking out for justice. Women in some countries have no voice.
I will continue to speak for those whose voices have been silenced.