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Fight Like a Girl

TW: talks of rape and murder!!

What a week last week was to be a woman. International Woman's Day celebrations took place all over social media. Yay! It was so uplifting and promising to see so many people online getting involved, and promoting the greatness of a woman's being. It was like Happy International Woman's Day to all women except Meghan Markle! I can't believe Meghan Markle had the audacity to lie about being suicidal, right? She is so full of shit. I mean, it really is so hard to believe that a family who have no place in a modern day democracy because they are an unelected body of Government, and have spent the best part of two centuries colonising everything they can get their hands on, might actually be racist. Who would've ever thought? And it’s so hard to believe that someone who the media slandered for months and months on end would end up struggling with her mental health. Then comes the case of Sarah Everard. A 33-year-old woman murdered by a police officer, on her way home from a friend's house. Across the whole country, we had women coming out and sharing their personal experiences, putting emphasis on how unsafe and terrifying it is to be a woman in a society in which we are preyed upon. I think, for a lot of females, it hit so close to home because it's our worst nightmare come to life. Women got vulnerable. That vulnerability was met with "but it's not all men???".

Okay sir, you're right. Not all men, but we don't know which men, and honestly, most likely you love aha. Anyways, the week went on, and the media wanted women to know that they stood with them. Except if you're black or trans. Black and trans women are so unprotected in this world, and it honestly breaks my heart. I really hope people clocked just there the difference in media coverage and responses between the Sarah Everard case and the Blessing Olusegun case, and how the most unprotected groups in society are constantly being failed by a system that was so obviously built against them. I don't doubt there's a lot of you right now, sitting there like girl, Blessing who? You wanna know why? Because the severely shitty media cooperations the whole country relies on to deliver their news to them, is institutionally racist.

I just want us to take 30 seconds of our day, to give Blessing and her family and friends, the attention her case deserved from the British media. She was a 21-year-old business student on a placement. Her lifeless body turned up on a beach in Sussex. Like Sarah, she had asked her boyfriend to stay on the line whilst she was walking, and that would be the last phone call either of them would ever make. The real difference in these two cases were the responses by the police and in the media. The police acted on Sarah's case immediately, doing whatever they could to resolve it. They ruled Blessing's as unsuspicious. How? No seriously like, HOW? Since when is a body of a young girl turning up on a beach in the early hours of the morning NOT suspicious? I don't know about you but the math just ain't matching. Blessing's family are unsatisfied, as they should be. If you have time, it takes a grand total of 3 seconds, you can sign the link here:

Here^. Like, right up there, to have her case reopened.

To the white woman reading this, who in this past week has said how terrifying it is that a girl was killed by a policeman. I'm asking you to consider the fact that these policeman have been completely disregarding the lives of, and dehumanising black women since the bloody dawn of time. No could ever take away the terror and gut-wrenching heartache caused by Sarah Everard's death. She deserved better. Women deserve better. But we have to start making sure that this better we so badly want applies to ALL women. It just has to be the same energy for every woman.

I saw a tweet recently about how if you were to put a woman in a room full of men, she would be terrified. But if you put a man in a room full of women, mans would feel like the luckiest guy to ever walk the planet. I think that sums up the difference between women's experiences with men and men's experience with women pretty well. A lot of people don't want to believe the fact that 97% of women have experience sexual harassment in some way shape or form. Me? I'm genuinely surprised that stat isn't sitting at 100%. Every young girl or fully grown woman I know has a story to tell. Every young girl or fully grown woman I know has a set of survival skills we know how to put into force, should the worst happen. I think the majority of men know how uncomfortable their presence might make a female feel, and that's not to say that every man has the wrong intentions but if the conversation about how women feel threatened by men offends you then you are completely dismissing the very valid feelings of girls, insinuating that we have nothing to be scared of, threatened by the idea of a women using her voice and quite frankly, looking like a total clown in the process. And it's funny to me, because the same men that say not all men, are probably the same men who say all lives matter but then disparage a man for the colour of his skin. You never get to excuse yourself as a perpetrator from the side of injustice, unless you're actively fighting for the side that needs justice.

My Dad. A joker, a part-time pain in the arse but my protector and guy I look up to all of the time. He's a true girl Dad if ever there was one to exist. Everyone who knows my Dad knows that he wouldn't hurt a fly. Everyone who does not know my Dad does not know this information about him. He is a stranger to them, and you should always be wary of strangers. It's a fact that is accepted worldwide. So why when we talk about women fearing the presence of unknown men, do the defences go up? I was maybe 6 or 7 when my Dad started teaching me how to fight. I used to think he'd make me play fight with him in our living room because he thought I was a boy, and I used to get really offended by it and bitch about it to my Sylvanian rabbit family. It wasn't until I started getting older that I realised this sequence he had been teaching me for so long - knee to the crotch, upper-cut to the jaw and fingers right into the eyes - was in case I ever found myself in a situation that I drastically and quickly needed to get out of. I get it now. At such a young age, most boys are out doing whatever fun things they do with their Dads. Girl Dads are wondering how they can best prepare their daughters for when they fly the nest. That's just always how life has been though, hasn't it? One rule for men and boys and another for women and girls. Exhibit A:

We can't even mourn the death of a young girl who lost her life at the hands of a police officer without there being consequences. Imagine being so threatened by the presence of women who have banded together that you have to use force at a peaceful fight for basic human rights? Society has a weird way of blaming women for their own misfortune. Oh, you were raped? What is it you were wearing? Did you initially say yes? I bet she's regretting it and is now just crying rape. Let's get something straight right now. Responsibility and accountability always ALWAYS lies with the person who consciously decided to sexually assault someone. That's it. End of story. It is never the victim's fault. I don't care if a sis takes it all the way to the bedroom, the minute she says no, that means NO. And then it's, so why didn't you report it sooner? I'm sorry, are we just ignoring the societal response to victims of rape? Instead of quizzing girls about their experience, why can't we just make it a safer world for them to minimise the likelihood of another girl going through that same experience.

Girls get up, and we persevere. We live in a world that for so long has tried to destruct our minds and our bodies and our human rights, but that never seems to get in the way of what we know we're capable of achieving. The resilience and courage and strength and immaculate vibes and greatness of the women of this world never ceases to amaze me. When I think of the people who inspire me the most, and the people who I aspire the most to be, girl, you're darn right it's mostly women who come to mind. We range from being the literal bearers of life to still fighting against inequality, after being one of the most recognised Black Panthers in the 70s, at the big old age of 77 to being the first recording artist, male or female, to win 29 Grammys to being the Prime Minister of one of the only countries in the world that has conquered cover to mums homeschooling their kids during a pandemic to being the essential workers we rely on to keep the country running. There is nothing a girl can't do. The concept that we are one of the most strongest, well-calculated, intelligent organisms in the world, but seen as the weaker sex in comparison to the man, is one that will always blow my mind. I think a man would combust if they had to live the life of a woman. The path is paved for a man. Women are still jumping over obstacles, through hoops and running through flames to get to where they want to be in life, but you best believe we'll do whatever it takes. In a week where we should've been disheartened and terrified in every way, women came together to shout THIS HAS TO STOP! And that to me, is the most courageous thing ever. This week alone, we took celebrations and achievements as opportunities to educate and inspire younger generations (prepare to cry sis, I'm sorry):

And we took tragedy and turned it into a worldwide discussion about the importance and urgency of creating a safer space for ALL women EVERYWHERE. We really have that power, girls.

So yes, what a week last week was to be a woman. But, also. What a time to be a woman. Because at the rate we're moving, they really ain't got a fighting chance.

Tyra x

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