“Woman” Should Not Equate “Caged”

Fall in Line
Christina Aguilera

Little girls, listen closely
‘Cause no one told me
But you deserve to know
That in this world, you are not beholden
You do not owe them
Your body and your soul

You’re more than flesh and bones

And maybe it’s never gonna change
But I got a mind to show my strength
And I got a right to speak my mind
And I’m gonna pay for this
They’re gonna burn me at the stake
But I got a fire in my veins
I wasn’t made to fall in line

Not sure if you or your significant other keeps their television consistently on CNN, but a few months ago I was bombarded with preview after preview of the upcoming documentary of Notorious RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsberg herself. (A valuable watch). Snippets of her quotes littered the screen baiting me in with just 30 seconds of air time. Couple that with Christina Aguilera’s impactful lyrics that I have posted above (please check out the full video here) and you are emotionally transported to what I myself and what I believe most women continue to experience. Feeling like second class citizens.

In my conversations with different types of women; college graduates or high school dropouts, financially blessed or struggling to pay the rent, straight or gay, married or single, happily married or contemplating divorce, stay at home moms or career women, young or old, most have felt the pressures to FALL IN LINE with what society has set forth as the standard of acceptable behavior.

I don’t care what your title is or what your social status is… but if you are a woman I can say without a shadow of a doubt that you have had to overcome many obstacles all due to your gender alone. And that in itself is pretty fucked up. There are enough issues in this world and in life to allow gender to play such a major role in, well… ANYTHING.

But for a woman, some of these have been a thorn lodged in to their side …. If you’re single, when are you getting married. If you are married, when are you having children. If you are a career woman, you must not want to be with your children. If you are a stay at home mom, you must want a man to support your easy lifestyle. If you’re straight and single you must be gay. If you’re gay and single you must not realize you might be straight. If you’re young and not meeting society’s standards you’re wasting your youth, and if you’re old then you’re a burden. You’re too loud, too quiet, to thin, too fat. If you’re pretty and thin you must not be that smart, and if you’re not visually acceptable, you’re just lazy about your appearance. Take control of your life, but your reproductive freedom is not your own. If you’re shy then you’re weird, and if you’re friendly you’re flirty. Take care of your husband, but raise independent sons. If you have sex you’re promiscuous and if you don’t you’re a prude or a tease. If you’re outspoken you’re a bitch, and if you’re soft spoken everyone takes advantage.

Add religious beliefs to this mix and women, in most religions, are now tertiary or lower on the totem pole of life. God, Christ, Men, Women and Children. Unless your child is a grown male, then you get booted further down on that pole.

Surrealistic portrait of young woman with cage. Black and white photo

What makes all of this even worse? Our female comrades that excuse this idiotic type of behavior and view toward women. And by doing so, they are active participants in lighting the match that burns us at the stake when we take a stand on the very platform we clearly built, maintained and own.

I write this in hopes that it will piss you off enough to …. Speak up, stand up, act up! To be yourself, to encourage and to empower. To know and feel that you are more than your genitalia. You are your soul. You are your mind. You are your hard work and your courage. You are your ability to deal with and overcome all these fucking man-made barriers.

So, to everyone out there, simply put by Ruth herself, “A gender line… helps to keep women not on a pedestal, but in a cage”. 

And to all the girls and women out there… Play Christina’s words on loop deep down in your psyche, “You are not beholden, you do not owe them your body and your soul”.

— The Pretty Platform



One thought

  1. I may not be a woman but I can definitely say that your words are inspiring and full of strength, a humdinger of a speech. I may not be a fan of Aguilera but her words resonate with your words like a fine tuned violin. Also, on the subject of religion, it is amazing how women have been relegated to the same aisle as slaves and animals, essentially chattel. This early type of thinking is exactly why women in this day are in the disenfranchised state they are in. I hope all women the best.

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