I am working on getting a degree or two in some things at UC Berkeley.
I like Star Trek.
And Stephen King.
And, generally, life.
I woke up and my eyelid was swollen, which has happened before but usually because I slept in makeup or something
It also usually goes away by the middle of the day
It’s 11pm and my eyelid is still swollen
A boy sprawled next to me on the bus, elbows out, knee pointing sharp into my thigh.
He frowned at me when I uncrossed my legs, unfolded my hands
and splayed out like boys are taught to: all big, loose limbs.
I made sure to jab him in the side with my pretty little sharp purse.
At first he opened his mouth like I expected him to, but instead of speaking up he sat there, quiet, and took it for the whole bus ride.
Like a girl.
Once, a boy said my anger was cute, and he laughed,
and I remember thinking that I should sit there and take it,
because it isn’t ladylike to cause a scene and girls aren’t supposed to raise their voices.
But then he laughed again and all I saw
was my pretty little sharp nails digging into his cheek
before drawing back and making a horribly unladylike fist.
(my teacher informed me later that there is no ladylike way of making a fist.)
When we were both in the principal’s office twenty minutes later
him with a bloody mouth and cheek, me with skinned knuckles,
I tried to explain in words that I didn’t have yet
that I was tired of having my emotions not taken seriously
just because I’m a girl.
Girls are taught: be small, so boys can be big.
Don’t take up any more space than absolutely necessary.
Be small and smooth with soft edges
and hold in the howling when they touch you and it hurts:
the sandpaper scrape of their body hair that we would be shamed for having,
the greedy hands that press too hard and too often take without asking permission.
Girls are taught: be quiet and unimposing and oh so small
when they heckle you with their big voices from the window of a car,
because it’s rude to scream curse words back at them, and they’d just laugh anyway.
We’re taught to pin on smiles for the boys who jeer at us on the street
who see us as convenient bodies instead of people.
Girls are taught: hush, be hairless and small and soft,
so we sit there and take it and hold in the howling,
pretend to be obedient lapdogs instead of the wolves we are.
We pin pretty little sharp smiles on our faces instead of opening our mouths,
because if we do we get accused of silly women emotions
blowing everything out of proportion with our PMS, we get
condescending pet names and not-so-discreet eyerolls.
Once, I got told I punched like a girl.
I told him, Good. I hope my pretty little sharp rings leave scars.
Whenever I’m sad I have to resist the urge to listen to sad Ryan Adams songs because even though they’re perfect for my mood they just make me sadder.
I just want to drink a whole bottle of wine by myself but I literally just don’t have time.
No time to drink and no time when I don’t have to wake up early the next day and why doesn’t the universe want to let me be pathetic if I wanna be!?
Parenthood shows everything wrong with how we raise daughters to be shamed out of sex and sons to be encouraged into it.
I think it’s going to come around to make the point that doing this is wrong. Or I hope so at least.
Also it’s disseminating incorrect info about pap smears—DON’T GET THEM UNTIL YOU’RE 21 LOTS OF BENIGN THINGS SHOW UP AND GO AWAY BEFORE THAT AGE SO THERE’S NO POINT. And cervical cancer takes at least a year (but usually more) to show up so there’s no point. And other strains of HPV can cause little benign things to show up that the body will heal itself so there’s no point in getting tests that just cause worry and more unnecessary tests.
Sorry that was meant to be a short comment on this show that turned into a PSA/rant.