If you look at the fact that you have a roof over your head, food to eat, that you are young and beautiful and live in a peaceful land, then no, you have nothing to be sad about. But the fact is, we are not only a physical body, we have souls too, and sometimes our souls get sick. If you break a leg you don’t just say ‘I have no reason to have a broken leg’ and ignore it; you seek help. It’s the same when your soul gets hurt. Don’t apologize for being sad.
There’s no point to a guy yelling, “Hey sexy baby” at me out of the passenger window of a car as it speeds past. Even if I was into creepy misogynists and wanted to give him my number, I couldn’t. The car didn’t even slow down. But that’s okay, because he wasn’t actually hitting on me. The point wasn’t to proposition me or chat me up. The only point was to remind me, and all women, that our bodies are his to stare at, assess, comment on, even touch. “Hey sexy baby” is the first part of a sentence that finishes, “this is your daily message from the patriarchy, reminding you that your body is public property”.
1. THE BOY SAYS “YOU CANNOT BE A PRINCESS, YOU ARE TOO UGLY.”
IT IS THE FIRST TIME SOMEONE PRESSES THAT WORD AGAINST ME, BUT IT WILL NOT BE THE LAST. EVEN NOW, YEARS LATER, I’VE STILL GOT THE WAY HIS MOUTH MOVED MEMORIZED AND HE IS THERE, SIX YEARS OLD AND SULLEN, WHEN THE MIRROR DOESN’T SHOW ME WHAT I WANT.
2. THE BOY SAYS “I COULD LOVE YOU IF YOU LOST SOME WEIGHT.”
WELCOME TO MY FIRST ROMANCE, STRAPPED BEHIND A COMPUTER SCREEN AT TEN YEARS OLD WHILE AN UNMOVING PICTURE SENT FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COUNTRY TRIES TO SWEET-TALK ME WITH WORDS THAT SOUND TOO MUCH LIKE “TOO FAT.” I NEVER KNEW HIS REAL NAME, HE CALLED HIMSELF DRAKE, BUT, HEY, I CALLED MYSELF BELLA SWAN. WHO KNOWS, MAYBE HE WAS JUST TRYING TO BE SOMEONE BEAUTIFUL TOO.
3. THE BOY SAYS “WHY ARE YOU SO AFRAID OF ME?”
HE PUT HIS HAND UP MY SHIRT AND I SAID NO, BIT HIS LIPS BLOODY, BUT THAT DOESN’T STOP THE WAY HE LOOKS AT ME, LIKE A PREDATOR DYING FROM GREED. HE SAYS “YOU ALWAYS DID PLAY HARD TO GET, BABY. BUT I PLAY HARDER.”
4. THE BOY SAYS “YO, FEMINISTS NEED TO SHUT THE FUCK UP. YOU’RE ALL JUST BULL-DOZED DYKES TRYNA CUT OFF OUR COCKS, YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT EQUALITY, WANNA RE-INSTITUTE MEN INTO SLAVERY, WOMEN GETTIN’ ALL UPPITY, BUT YOUR PLACE IS IN THE KITCHEN, BITCH, WHO TOLD YOU TO TRY AND SPEAK?”
5. THE BOY SAYS “I WANT YOUR BODY.”
WITH A GUN PRESSED TO MY HEAD, THIS IS THE WAY BOYS DO IT NOWADAYS, DEMAND LOVE WITH BULLET WOUNDS. THIS ISN’T GRAND THEFT AUTO, BUT I GUESS THAT’S WHY HE PULLED THE TRIGGER.
6. THE BOY SAYS “BABY, I KNOW WHY YOU HATE MEN, YOU JUST HAVEN’T FOUND THE RIGHT GUY YET.”
HE TELLS ME ABOUT ALL THE POETRY HE WROTE. WHEN I SAY I DON’T WANT HIS POEMS OR HIS HANDS OR THE TEXTS AT THREE A.M. ABOUT HOW MUCH HE LOVES ME, HE CALLS ME A BRITTLE BITCH, SAYS I’VE FORSAKEN THE ONLY ‘NICE GUY’ I’VE KNOWN, I’LL PROBABLY DIE ALONE, OR ELSE BLEEDING IN THE FISTS OF A MAN WHO NEVER EVEN WROTE ME A WORD, AND THAT, HEY, HE REALLY DOES HOPE I END UP THERE AFTER ALL.
7. THE BOY SAYS “STOP WRITING POETRY ABOUT THE WAYS MEN HAVE HURT YOU, YOU SELFISH CUNT. IT’S RUDE AND IT’S SEXIST. NOBODY CARES THAT YOU’VE BEEN BROKEN, AND, BESIDES, NOT ALL MEN ARE LIKE ‘THAT.’”
8. THE BOY SAYS “YOU CANNOT BE A PRINCESS, YOU ARE TOO UGLY.”
THE GIRL SAYS “I’VE NEVER WANTED ANYTHING. I’M JUST TIRED OF THE WAR.”
This is for all you ladies out there.
the struggle is real
I have a trans man story about this.
Since I’m pre-t I still have my period but since I’m socially out as trans I use men’s bathrooms. One time at the college the family bathroom was taken and so I went into the men’s room to do my business. I tried opening the little pad as quietly as I could manage, but the rustling and ripping sound still happened. I froze in silence because I didn’t know if the other guy in the men’s room heard it or not.
Then after a little bit of silence I hear…
"Who has a bag of chips?"
And in a panic I just whisper back to him “I’m not sharing.”
Then I hear a huff before he finished his business and left.