I have often heard nonsense about working women. Too liberal in their thoughts and dressing, some say, while others stereotype us as too outgoing. The generalization and labeling goes on forever. However, what really gets my goat is the word slut.
I take personal offense if anyone generalizes working women class. Although I am quite familiar with the fact that a working woman is not easily and socially digestible, being labelled a ‘slut’ only because you are doing a job is derogatory of supreme order.
Are we sluts?
No, we are not!
We are women who educate ourselves, secretly nurture a wish in our heart (just as a son does, just as any human, for that matter, does), to become a doctor or a pilot, we work hard, and fight our way through immense competition to make it through to a good college. We become doctors or teachers and pursuit our dream of saving or educating the humanity. Why would a particular class be people be so ruthless and call us ‘SLUTS’?
Are we sluts because we pursue our educational dream?
Are we sluts because we go out everyday, work equal length of hours despite the fact that we get lower wages?
Are we sluts because some of us do not have fathers or brothers to support us socially and financially where we have to bear all the expenses?
I tell you why they call us ‘sluts’. We are labeled sluts because we are confident, educated women who have a strong educational background and professional degree to support and fend for ourselves. We are sluts because we now know how the world works and to get things done ourselves. Strong women make men feel weak in their knees, hence the ruthless labelling. If it were up to them, we’d still have been cooped up in the house like hens clucking all day long and making eggs (literally).
We are sluts because we work in a mixed environment where there are men. Men – who are stereotyped as the big, wild beasts who are out there to devour every female species they bump into. A rather nauseating stereotyping, let me say.
Yes, we work in a mixed environment. Yes, we have male colleagues but an office is not a dating point. And hello, has it ever occurred to you that education broadens your mind. A workplace is a professional environment where people behave themselves. More importantly, it is the place where you enter when you are emotionally and mentally stable. Surely you can expect maturity from grown up people, can’t you?
While stigma and gross generalization of working women continues, there is no need to feel hopeless though. Respect for us will surely come by although admittedly it may take a long time before it becomes palpable in our patriarchal society. Till then, just pull yourself together and buckle up. Remember, you are not a slut, no matter who says it. You are a strong, educated, professional woman who can tell right from wrong. Most importantly, you are a decent person whose respect cannot be trampled on by such thoughtless generalizations.