My Friday Inspiration post today comes from a touchy, yet current and important subject. As much as I’d like to keep this blog about running, this is something I cannot keep quiet about, but I will try to keep it brief.
In the past year there have been far too many instances of bullying/sexual assault and rape that have been popping up (Rehteah Parsons, Steubenville, Amanda Todd in the media, and another case that was closer to home). What has really struck me, like many others, is not just the fact that these acts were committed to these young women, but is the fact that there are men/boys out there that felt it appropriate to participate in such acts. I believe that their behavior is directly linked to their perception of women, which is something learned and can be changed. A major, MAJOR influence in this is the media. And I know many have talked about women in advertising and fashion but I think the documentary Killing Us Softly really brings up some valid points.
I think it’s generally important for us to have respect for each other, and the way women are presented in the media does nothing to garner that respect. And the same goes for men. I was watching TV the other day and Hair Club for Men’s ad came on, and completely belittled balding men. Watching this as a woman, we get told that a bald(ing) man is weak, sad, and less worthy of our attention. We are constantly told by someone else who we should respect and who we should not.
So, if you have some time today, watch this documentary, regardless of what hangs out between your legs. You will see WHY the youth of today have such skewed perception of the female gender. And for all of us adults here, the first step towards change is being aware of the problem.
This is inspiration for me, as a woman and a runner, to not give into society’s media-prescribed role for me. I, as many female runners, focus on our strength, our ability, feel pride in the fact that we can run 5, 10, 21.1 or 42.2km rather than the fact that we fit into a size 2 (which I most definitely DO NOT). I focus on training to be strong, not slimming down so I have an idiotic “thigh gap“. I gain much more from this approach too. I gain self confidence from achieving goals, a sense of perseverance and knowledge that I strive to share with others. And I demand respect from others because of it, instead of striving to gain approval for something as trivial as my appearance.
Anyways, that is my rant, hopefully next week I’ll have a more lighthearted inspirational post for you all, but this was near and dear to my heart. Ladies, I hope this inspires you to be the strong, capable woman that you are. Fellers, I hope that this inspires you to ensure that the next generation of your kind is brought up to respect the lady-folk.
Find a woman today and tell them what you admire about them!