I am a feminist. And in my world, that is something that people don’t understand. For the most part, they say I take too much offense over minor things. They don’t understand small things add up to a lot.
It is unfortunate that I live in a culture where misogyny is fully accepted. I’ve been taught as a young girl that I can’t earn more than my partner should — because it could emasculate him.
I have to keep my skirt at a “decent length” and my neckline close because “boys will be boys” and it is up to me to make sure that I don’t “lead them to sin.”
When I complain of harassment for a guy being too close for comfort, I’m “over reacting” because of course it’s perfectly okay to have someone’s ass or balls within a foot from your face. And of course he can touch me whenever and wherever he wants to.
I have to act “nice” and “friendly” and not take offense at catcalls because whistling at someone and commenting on her looks is a form of compliment, never mind the fact that it makes me feel severely uncomfortable.
And the worst part? I have to be pretty, never mind smart — because boys want to be with pretty girls, not smart ones: especially not ones smarter than them.
I can be anyone or anything I want, but God forbid, I can’t be better than a “man” because they only want those whom they can assert their power over. Strong, smart, independent women are not the ones they want to spend their lives with.
Unless, of course, it means I can be strong enough to raise kids, and smart enough to manage expenses, and independent enough to maintain the household. My worth is directly proportionate to a man’s ego, and the bigger his ego is, the smaller I become.
I am not going to allow myself to be small in this misogynistic world because I have a voice, and I am not going to allow it to waver. I won’t allow myself to look down in embarrassment when men catcall me from across the street, I will not them let have that power over me. I will not bow my head down when male workmates try to intimidate me, especially when I’m good at my job.
Mostly, I will not allow myself to be contained in the box that the world put me in: I am a woman, and I will take what’s mine.