A Letter To Everyone For 2018

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I felt compelled to name this article “Read If You’re a Girl”, or “Read If You Have a Sister” or “Read if You’re a Human Being with Basic Compassion”. Alas, in hopes that this makes it to the people who are in most dire need of it, let’s briefly discuss why those memes your girlfriend posted on her spam Instagram were really humorous coping mechanisms to deal with the sadness you’ve brought upon her.
With the ever-approaching new year, let’s categorise all the problems we as a collective had most probably experienced in these dreadful 12 months. Girls, ladies. Raise your hand if you feel like 2017 was your year in which you saw three different shifts in identities. Again, if you felt the very nature of your personality was dependent on the presence – or lack of – a man then hands up. Lastly, if you feel like all your energies have been chewed up and stomped on, let’s get a final wave of that hand!
Mhmm. So, we can all agree? This 2017 saw nothing but treacherous repeats of the same kind of treatment we’ve learnt to normalise, and more-so it saw the men around us prove that they are exactly the kind we’ve spent our generations fighting back against. Let it be known that if there is fury in my words it is all intentional and if these feels like a personal attack then damn right, it is.
We all know the basics of teenage-life. We expect our crushes to turn out to be complete wastes of time, we expect our male-friends to eventually try to slip a hand around our shoulders and pull us closer as if to say “Hey, I know that I [literally always] drain the life out of you, but I can’t help myself and I have no self control” but by 18 you become far too used to this. You’ve felt it enough times to understand that no matter how you set out the conversations, block/unblock, overuse “bro”, or time replies perfectly, that we’re stuck in what feels like this vicious cycle. And that’s exactly what it is, a cycle. We’re taught that in this cycle lives disappointing Fathers, men you’re in love with that Whatsapp your pretty friend when you’re sleeping, the old man in your neighbourhood who’s stared at you since you developed breasts and the drug dealer who won’t stop snapping you at 3am asking if you want to ‘link up’ (when in reality you know this is code for free weed and slobbery probably infectious kisses).
In 2018, I think our objective should be to burn this cycle and bury it. Take it apart, make it uneasy to take a ride on, make it harder for unacceptable things to slip by. With 2017’s iconic statements (not limited to, but including: the Women’s March, and the #MeToo Movement) us ladies have made it clearer to the observing world that we won’t stay silent, and that there are organisations, groups, friendships and our own damn selves looking out for us – and they won’t be quiet about it.
It could be argued, and of course it has, that the #MenAreTrash slogan has given itself a mockery of a name and that, if anything, it’s now nothing but a filler in a sentence. I detest, and here’s why:
  • You recognise via that trend that many, many ladies have been victim to mistreatment.
  • You know that it’s used so often because of how often said mistreatment occurs.
  • And, if you’re part of the #NotAllMen stance, you feel personally attacked because you’re aware your friends are horrible but hey, that’s not you, so we should all be quiet – right?
People understand now more than they have in a long time that girls have been struggling with relationships from their very birth. When there is a fight somewhere in South Asia because a Mother decides to keep the newborn baby girl, despite the family’s wishes, she is born out of resistance. When a Father tells his daughters than his action of adultery is fine because “Men will be Men” then they’re living with the pressure to accept this. When somewhere in our time a little lady tells her boyfriend she doesn’t want to feel his anger on her skin anymore, she is forced to be brave to save her life. And this all happens too often for it, and for our male companions, to push it under the rug. 2018 is the year of fresh, healthy relationships – whether romantic, family or friend – with an abundance of protection and communication. And isn’t it a shame that we must ask for this.

In 2018, keep the women in your life safe because they’ve been silent for the longest time. Let them speak, do not tread on their movement to something that only asks to be treated as the males around them.  

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