I am a girl. Nearly all of my fellow women are incessantly being told that if we want to be treated a certain way, we should demand it. We want respect? Well, you must respect yourself if you want anyone to respect you.
This is a completely ineffective method of thinking. It actually does three things. It gets men to not be held accountable for the way that they treat women. It forces the idea that when women are abused or mistreated, just because they are female, they are at fault. Lastly, women are looked down upon when they speak about feminism or anti-sexism due to the forced belief of sexism being our fault, our responsibility to avoid.
I am not a powerful force for good – or really for anything. I can’t insist upon men, or women for that matter, giving me any sign of respect. I do have the power to ask people to not criticize me, and they have the power to say no. Everyone has the right to say no. If someone does in fact disrespect me, I can say that I’m upset. But, I was disrespected.