Friday, April 4, 2014

Stop Telling Me To Smile

Stop telling me I'm prettier when I smile. Stop telling me I shouldn't eat that. Stop ordering for me when we go out. I am not a barbie doll. If I wanted a smile painted on my face, I'd take care of it without any input from you. I am not a health nut. If I was, my ex-boyfriend wouldn't remind me that our first kiss happened while I was eating gummy bears. I am not perfect. If I were meant to be perfect, I would not be a human.
I am a woman. I am everything a man can be and maybe a bit more. I create life. And while I am busy preparing my body to bring forth life there is many a man out there being put away for taking a life out of this world.

I am a woman. I am pigeon-holed. Because my eyebrows arch over my sunglasses and I don't walk about with a smile pasted on my face, I am a bitch. I am bossy because I like things done right, a man with the same attributes is called a leader, and when I draw attention to this fact, I am called a femi-nazi, while a man doing the same thing is called a hero. I have lifted trays full of food with one arm for almost a year now and a man still ended his compliment of my strength with "for a girl". Let me remind you, sir, that it is women who are still pursuing change in the world. Let me remind all of you, that women are fighting along side men in everything, women are taking the world by storm. We aren't a dirty word or a second class citizen, we are humans, we are capable and we deserve equality.

I am apparently a liberal because I foolishly believe that everyone is equal. I am radical because I speak out against the sexism of the world. I am foolish and silly and even a tad naive for wanting women to be equal to men. For the equal pay act to mean women are paid equally. For sexism to quit existing. I am silly and "oh, just so young" when I talk to older generations about these issues because apparently as I continue living in the world I will realize how much of a foolish girl I am and change my mind on all of this. I will become complacent.

But what if I don't? What if I am still the girl who refuses to stop looking for change, to stop seeking a right to all this wrong? Then I suddenly become the eccentric Ms. Olmstead. The crazy lady who lives next door, the diehard try-hard. And people are embarrassed of me because there is nothing worse than an liberal old feminist woman. Except apparently for a young one.

Here's the thing. I'm not going to change the way I am or who I am until the world changes for me. I will continue to be upset when I called doll, or sweetie, or honey by condescending old men, I will continue to flip off strangers who tell me to smile and I will continue to take pride in the fact that I refuse to live by anyone's rules but my own, and call me stupid, but I feel like we could all accomplish more if that was more acceptable.


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