Let’s take a moment and look at the phrase “calm your tits”, shall we?
I’m not going to analyse it, I just want you to think about what a ridiculous thing it is that this phrase even exists, let alone how legitimised it’s become.
Have you ever seen what happens when you tell a woman to calm down? Regardless of how agitated she may or may not have been in the first place, “calm down” is a surefire method to absolutely infuriate almost any woman with almost impressive efficiency.
“Calm your tits”, said to the wrong woman (not saying me, but me) might just end up on a form as your official Cause of Death. Side note: so happy we can moderate our blog comments at Anxious & Insecure.
So what we end up with is a whole society telling women they need to be calm at all times, and punishing them for being anything but.
These punishments can be small scale, like being labelled “hysterical” by a Man you’ve dared to offend (although beware the large-scale repercussions). Or they can be larger scale.
See: Serena Williams.
Here is someone who has risen to the top of her field and stayed there. Someone who has fought off prejudice, discrimination and life-threatening health problems, and shined as a role model, key figure in representation and hero to so many people the whole time. She is the epitome of a strong black woman, and faces (and overcomes) all the predictable ignorance and barriers to success that come with being a black woman in our society.
But the competition officials don’t like her outfit.
Never mind its importance to her health, or that literally nobody minded her wearing it. The compression catsuit is gone.
At least she wore the tutu calmly, so nobody could make too much of a fuss.
Then comes the final.
Here’s a question for you all: what’s the angriest you’ve ever seen a male tennis player? Actually here’s a better question: who’s the angriest male tennis player you’ve ever seen?
I’m not going to lie to you guys, this little gallery took me about an hour to collate. But mostly because I couldn’t decide which angry players, and which of their angry moments, to choose. I had a lot of options, a lot.
But god forbid a woman show frustration. It’s not her place to be upset, she must be gentle, humble and accepting. And she definitely mustn’t question the judgement of a Man when he takes away something she has earned.
This is not a problem restricted to sports players, although it flares up with them more than many people because they usually have a lot more adrenaline pumping when these problems occur.
As much as our society claims that women are no longer confined to the home, and now able to be big and strong and accomplish anything a man can do (I know, right?? People really think that’s true!), there are still things that just aren’t “acceptable behaviour” for a woman.
Because while we’re busy still fighting for our legally equal rights, they are making sure our social status and behavioural expectations remain the same. It’s a smokescreen.
Big change starts with small victories. When we as a society give up on the concepts of Ladylike, Girly, Gentlemanly and Manly, we will all actually be able to achieve equality that bit more quickly.
Let’s start simply: let women be angry.
Goodness knows, we have plenty to be angry about.