If I could, I would tell you the same things I did my son
Be yourself, be who you want, be kind to others
But I will not
For you need more than flowers and a kiss
You will want armour, not to hide behind
But to protect your gentleness, your spirit
They will try and break you
With the smallest hints, words of little consequence
Thin, beautiful, lovely, sweet
And if these words are not yours, they will strike
Cold and hard, throw you to the ground
But I must tell you to stand, fight back
For you are not your waist or your eyes
You are not your smile, your fiction or perfection
Nor the soft voice that asks for permission
You are worth the same as any other, and to me, you are more
Not bound by the love you find or the promise of a ring
But by your resolve, your will
They will tell you, before you are ready
To cover up, leave your body to their minds
But to show your skin, give them hints of what is to come
Though they expect you not to enjoy their affections, nor their attention
But I press upon you, that it is not wrong
To want what they do
That to explore yourself is your choice, not any other’s
They will ask you
Why do you speak up? Why does your tongue hold a lash?
Because they will not wish for your words, or your lacerations
Or expect reprimand when you are wounded
When a word slips your amour and finds your mind
But you must shout
And there is one word, one they will force
That comes in many forms: innocence, virginity, purity
Though I will tell you, should hold no value
Unless that is what you wish
They will ask that you give it, but not want to
And that once you have, you should be ashamed
But is that not a contradiction?
It is one of hundreds you will find, a standard
Impressed on you, but not your brother
And that you must bite, tear away
To believe only in your choice, and your own hope
Not place your worth in the contradictions
They will tell you
To be beautiful, but not enjoy the attention
To be sexual, but to act as though you are not
To laugh at their jokes, but not to tell your own
To give your opinion, but to say it softly, do not be a “bitch”
To be smart, but only when they wish you to be
But I will tell you
That if you are beautiful or not, enjoy who you are
If you wish to be sexual, own it, make it your own, not a reward for another
To snort and giggle and tear up, or make them laugh in turn
To be a “bitch” if you wish to fight, for it is only a defence for when you are in control
And to be brilliant, be inventive, and do not feign stupidity for another
What I wish you to remember
If you do not fight, if you stand quiet
But you remember my words, make them your amour
And form it out of love for yourself, it is impenetrable
Because there is nothing I wish more than for you to believe
In your own strength, your own convictions
And if you do not let them hurt you, then I consider
All of what I learned, through sharp iron brands and harsh words
And that I still struggle to shake off
To be worth it in the end
“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: “You can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise, you will threaten the man.”
Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage; I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is most important. Now, marriage can be a source of joy and low and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors; not for jobs or for accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing - but for the attention of men.
We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way boys are.
Feminist: a person who believes in the social,
Political, and economic equality of the sexes”—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“Rape culture is something that men should care about not because it might affect them, but because it affects anyone at all. Men should care about women’s safety, full stop, without having the concept somehow relate back to them. Everyone should care about everyone else’s well-being – that’s what good people are supposed to do.”—Anne Theriault, who writes the wonderful blog, “The Belle Jar.” Read more here.
“Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s looking for my own peace of mind; don’t assign me yours.”—Clementine, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
When I was eighteen years old, I dated a guy who hated my period. He was so hurt, so insulted that I would dare deny him sex for a week. And he became even more offended that I wouldn’t give him blow jobs to compensate (same guy who once got me drunk so he could get anal without asking and who would grab at my vagina in public when he thought no one was looking. A sexual harassment rant for another time)
Whenever I got cross with him, he would groan, look at me, and say “oh no, are you on your period?”
And by doing this not only was he trying to reiterate his annoyance that he was not in complete control of my body, but he was committing a crime every female is familiar with.
When a guy accuses you of being hormonal, or pms-y, during an argument, he is trying to whittle your feelings down to illegitimacy, regardless of how validated those feelings are. Whether he’s too cowardly to really try and have a battle of wits with an intelligent girl like yourself or he simply has egotistic belief that his emotions are more valid than yours, this technique often succeeds. Because when he ignores your words by throwing out the generic put down, you get even angrier, and in a backwards ass vortex of stupid he’s created, you merely prove his flawed theory.
I find it strange how a man can punch another man in the face when he’s angry and gain points in imaginary man currency, but a woman cannot raise her voice to be heard without being dismissed under the assumption that she is going through a physical process every female endures every month. Perhaps she is just goddamn tired of you leaving piss all over the toilet seat like a fucking animal.
And how does this feminine process invalidate her feelings? The frustration of letting your uterus rip itself to shreds and spit out the carnage on a monthly basis is as much a part of being a woman as accidentally sitting on your dick every now and then is for a man. Accept that we are silently sitting through hell, though we hide it by avoiding conflict and buy only revealing and opening our noisy tampon wrappers in only an empty bathroom, and that it is in fact a legitimate reason to be all the more fed up with your shit.
And if you’re a guy who’s grossed out or inconvenienced by periods, either deal with it or understand that your inability to accept a female for what she is may indicate that you’re closeted.
-A KNIFE Self defense ofcourse, but also for so many day-saving, moment-saving reasons. The first time you’re the only person with a knife on you when it’s needed and a wave of savior-ness flows over you, you’ll know what I mean.
- A BACKPACK Smaller than a school backpack and totally your style. Big enough to fit a waterbottle, an extra shirt, extra underwear, and all your shit. You never know where the night will take you, ladies, or if you’ll have to book it down the street.
-LEATHER ADVENTURE BOOTS Leather looks more and more awsome with age, invest in some quality leather boots that you can wear climbing a fence, going on a night hike on a dusty trail, or with party clothes. Get them reworked at a leather shop whenever they get too fucked up, and have them forever. You will love them. They will carry you. They will be everything.
- A NIGHTIE There is something so wonderful and ethereal about lounging around in a nightie and waking up in one. Love yourself.
-A SCRAP ART JOURNAL Find a good journal with hefty pages and a strong cover that is completely your style. Fill it with words, journal entries, stickers, stamps, pressed flowers, collages, mantras, kisses, lists, hopes, dreams. Get a fancy pen that makes you want to write. Keep it by your bed.
- A MANTRA It can rhyme, it can be short, it can be long, it’s yours. Who are you and who do you want to be? Memorize it, write it on a piece of paper you keep in your backpack or shoes, and recite it whenever you need to remember.