Don’t let anyone make take away your right to speak up and defend yourself.
One tactic used to oppress someone or to simply turn an obstacle into a speed-bump, minimizing what you take to heart. Or in a domestic violence situation, is to take away their right to take up space, physically, emotionally and vocally.
Another tactic is to say, “I’m only human, what do you expect?” When someone admits to being a flawed person, but doesn’t excuse what they did, they are trying to imply that by criticizing someone, you’re being so demanding and unreasonable that you expect perfection, and that if you truly understood that humans are flawed, you would’ve kept your mouth shut. They are taking away your voice, your right to defend yourself. They are chipping away at your right to occupy as much space as they are taking.
Another sad reality is that women are often told that they speak too much. Even as an introvert, I’ve heard more than my share of jokes about women talking. This is a tactic to make you feel self-conscious and quiet your opinion. You don’t deserve to be silenced, and you don’t have to put up with sexist behaviour.
Emotions are often also laughed at and dismissed. We have to downplay and apologise for their emotions for fear of being called crazy, overemotional or have people assume their in that time of the month. The truth is you can be emotionally available when you take the time to process your feelings in order to deal with them and foster fruitful relationships.
This is one of the reasons why we still learn mostly white male history in school to this day. Space in history books have simply been taken away from women and other races. Any parent with young children can attest that the history books haven’t been updated in generations and fail objective and all inclusive.
This is why movies still feature more white men then women and other races.
“The female contribution to anything significant has always been historically dismissed or discounted, or often erased. Their feelings are suppressed, their spirits are oppressed, and their ambitions are repressed.” – Pharrell Williams
Even when writing about a marginalise group, space given is often limited and people are still omitted. For example, there is very little knowledge of article written about early feminism movement that include lesbians. Their space as simply been written out of history.