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Girl Talk: What's it Like to Be a Woman in 2016?

On International Women's Day, we asked the women of Melbourne. The most-common response: How is cat calling still a thing?

by Greta Levy
08 March 2016, 6:13am
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Lydia Rabbetts, 22. All images by author.

In case you missed it, today is International Women's Day, a day dedicated to celebrate women and the achievements made in the social, economic, and political sphere. Despite progress in these fields, International Women's Day also pushes to close the gender gap sooner than the estimated year of 2133, which is a date we're due to hit slower than was estimated in 2014.

With the celebration splashed over social media and trending globally, we thought we would step away from our screens and ask women on the street, what it is actually like to be a woman in 2016?

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Kemi Lawrence, 19

It's great where I am from in England, but I can definitely see how it would be difficult in other places. For me it is actually okay, feminism did great things and maybe things are a bit easier for a woman. Then again, I am only 19 maybe that will change when get I older.

The only thing that really makes me feel uncomfortable is when guys grab you in the club or call out at you from a car, even when you walk past a group of them—that happened yesterday. They are doing that to try make you feel uncomfortable.

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Maegan Oberhardt, 18

I feel like being a woman in 2016 is okay. There is still this thing with hierarchy though. Men telling us not to dress like sluts, why can't you just tell the man not to rape? I feel like in 2016 women are still seen as victims and targets.

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Lydia Rabbetts, 22

Yeah it's good, I feel like I don't experience any sexism in work and university. I do feel like catcalling is a massive problem as a woman though, like when you are walking along the street and you go past a group of builders and they are deliberately making you uncomfortable. It is so much worse when they are in a group. I was actually discussing romanticism today and the notion of the "gentleman" opening a door for you. Is that a hierarchy thing or not?

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Juliet Xu, 26

I feel pretty good as a woman in 2016. I feel like there are a lot of opportunities and we have the chances that we want to have here. But I think there is probably still a bit of growing to come.

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Adelaide Daniell, 28

It's pretty good! I own my own business so I find these sorts of conversations hard because I'm not really in it, the issues don't apply to me. I know that in advertising it is very male dominated. As a young female in graphic design I have never had any problems with sexism from any of my clients.

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Olivia Rostolis, 18

That's such a hard question! I think being a woman in 2016 and still having old men tell you what to do is disgusting. I feel like these people who are making major decisions on important issues involving women just have no idea of women. I've had guys say to me, "You would look better like this." Like, I'm not out to impress anyone, so why should I try to impress you?

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Rachel Holland, 23

It's hard because people make assumptions of you. I get shafted a lot in my job, I get hit on repeatedly and taken advantage of with pay and sick leave. Even the other day I was listening to a conversation where they were discussing lesbians. I have a girlfriend and I found it so offensive that these guys were making assumptions about women, there are still these negative ideologies.

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Katrina Attlee, 19

I don't even know what it is like, I guess it is alright being a woman. But I feel like it is still pretty biased being a woman especially when it comes to the workplace. Males seem to get the higher pay and I think females are expected to go into certain jobs, like when females go into trade, they are treated so differently to the guys.

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Tagged:
Women's Rights
women
melbourne
Pay Gap
gender equality
Collingwood
Australia/NZ
Vice Blog
cat calling
International Women's Day