Saturday, March 8, 2014

Stop Telling Women To Smile

It's International Women's Day again and time to honor women's advancement and reminding us all of the continued vigilance and action required to ensure that women's equality is gained and maintained in all aspects of life.

As a gay man I may sometimes encounter homophobia and oppression in my life, but that is next to nothing compared to what women in our societies have to go through. 
The structural indoctrination and prevailing views teach us all from an early age - whether we are men or women, gay or straight - that women are worth less and less important than men. That a woman's place is to please, aid and support men everywhere and all the time. This gender discrimination leads to women being bought and sold like cattle, treated worse than animals, being underpaid, exploited, used and abused, maimed and killed at an incredible rate worldwide. 
We should use this day - atleast - to reflect upon this phenomenon and to consider how we as individuals, and as part of the societies we live in, can modify our ways of thinking and acting to change this horrific situation. One first step could be to do what the American artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh suggests, to stop telling women to smile.

"Stop Telling Women to Smile" is an art series by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh that started in Brooklyn in the fall of 2012. It is an ongoing, traveling series that will gradually include many cities and many women.

To find out more about the project and how you can get involved with it, have a look at the website

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