Has the female half of everyone’s #relationshipgoals awakened a 90-year argument about what “women’s liberation” really means?
The Equal Rights Amendment was introduced to the United States Congress 93 years ago, reintroduced by the National Organization for Women and finally passed by Congress in 1972, but never ratified. The amendment basically 1) Asks for equal rights under the law for both sexes; 2) Gives Congress the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of the article, and 3) Allow for the amendment to take effect two years after the date of ratification.
Since the amendment has been hanging out, Schoolhouse Rock-style, in Congress for all these years, we have to ask ourselves, what is actually taking so long to get it ratified? The answers: disorganization and ambiguity.
Enter Ayesha Curry and the age of social media.
In a day and age where everyone’s favorite mantra seems to be “don’t judge,” people are incredibly judgmental. It’s like everyone wants to say what they will freely, but no one wants anyone else to say anything back or have someone disagreement with them. When I checked Twitter and everyone was losing their minds over Ayesha Curry’s statement about liking to be fully clothed, I was fully confused.
Curry’s tweet didn’t seem to throw shade at any particular person, rather it expressed the opinion that she’s not into some new wave of scantily clad people who possess the mindset that it’s OK to barely wear clothes. The tweet didn’t bother me, particularly because 1) I was always taught that “modest is hottest” so her opinions aren’t outlandish to me 2) Sometimes I unapologetically wear t-shirts as dresses 3) It’s her Twitter and her opinion and she can say what she wants.
However, there is a whole group of Twitter women who thought Ayesha was way out of line for her tweet, claiming she was propagating the idea that women who wear more revealing clothing are wrong. They accused Curry of things like slut-shaming (don’t even get me started on that term), being judgmental, and thinking she was “better than” other women. Well, that was back in December. Everything went back to normal on social media (whatever that means), and then earlier this month, a whole FOUR months later, I see mad Ayesha hate on all these memes and in all these tweets.
While they are HILARIOUS, the whole ordeal is very similar to the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1970s, to me – this time, on social media – and it’s equally as ambiguous to onlookers as when it was first introduced.
Since the idea was raised that women might be equal to men in terms of mental and physical capability, women, ourselves, have been split on exactly what that means. Is it just freedom in terms of equal jobs, equal pay, equal laws, and the like? Or is it freedom in terms of sexuality, cultural norms, and being able to do the same things men do without ridicule? Does it include sexual liberation?
In the same vein, the Ayesha Curry incident and its resurgence makes me wonder if this is a case of actual, justified, offense, or is it a case of “a hit dog is gonna holler?”
There is a faction of women who claim that to be “liberated” simply means to be seen as men’s equals economically, socially, and culturally, while another group claims to already be free, and doesn’t see the need to “fix” something that ain’t broken. The latter claims that the only women upset about Ayesha’s tweets are women who are, subconsciously, either of the belief that they are dressed inappropriately, or who accuse women offended by her tweets of making it acceptable for women to be “sluts.” Of course, the former accuses their counterparts of being oppressed, “slut-shaming,” and making comments damaging to women, as a whole.
As it would seem, “liberation” and “freedom” are entirely relative. If you’re living your truth (insert flower crown Snapchat filter) by being half-naked…well, I guess you’ll continue to be offended by opinions like Ayesha’s. And if your truth is lived at home, making sure your husband and children are happy, then you’re gonna continue to live your truth. I have honestly only encountered very few women who truly let people be free to live how they want.
Until we, as women can “get in formation” about exactly what it is we want, we definitely shouldn’t be attacking each other online when a woman does what I know for SURE we all want her to do– expresses her opinion.