I am tired of making adjustments.
I am tired of squeezing myself a little bit further to the right just so someone else could pass through before me. I am tired of letting people get ahead of me because they feel too self-important to wait their turn.
I am tired of being told to be more patient, more forgiving, because you’re supposed to be softer and kinder and you should know better, because people need the room for their little insecurities and adjustments and the need to fucking belong. I am tired of telling myself to be more patient and more forgiving because I am supposed to do so, because holding on to a little of anger or annoyance will not merit to anything, that being angry is unattractive.
I am tired of giving concessions all the fucking time, and in return I get incompetence and ungratefulness. I am tired of adjusting to give way for other people’s egos or self-absorbed selves.
I am tired of all those things, but you know what?
I am superlatively tired about this:
I am tired of holding my breath and pulling my tummy in because my skirt just won’t fit, and it’s the last size and I really like this fucking skirt. (And it’s not too short that I have to constantly worry about the wind fluttering the wrong way or something).
I am tired of valiantly finding ways to “cover” that bra strap so eyes wouldn’t follow the exposed line and imagine what lies underneath the shirt. (Spoiler: Nothing. Just a ratty bra and the lumps of fat that it’s covering for the sake of, get this, propriety.)
I am tired of pulling my shorts down a little, of tugging my hemline a little more downwards, so I’d look “decent”, so people wouldn’t accidentally see what’s under, even if it’s just some constricting spandex I wore to hide my underwear.
I am tired of keeping my eyes down, of looking at the other way nonchalantly, just so I wouldn’t catch the eye of the man sitting obscenely inside a delivery truck, the man who’s not-so discreetly following me with his eyes as I trudge by, the man who tries with a “Hi miss!” and believes he could fucking get away with it. I’m tired of keeping my eyes down so I wouldn’t catch the eye of the guy in front of me inside a jeep, so that I wouldn’t see the leer he’s smugly giving me. So I wouldn’t “make” myself an easy target. Eyes down, and there’s a higher chance of surviving this short walk under the sun from my apartment to my first class.
I am tired of always second-guessing everything I wear, not because of thoughts like “Can I actually pull this off?” but because of thoughts like “Am I ready to feel unwanted gazes creeping on me for the whole day?”
I am tired of feeling uncomfortable with my skin, because I know that no matter which “conservative” or “seductive” part of me that I cover or expose, eyes will always follow me and no, it’s not because I am exceptionally, heartbreakingly beautiful.
It’s because I am a woman, and precisely because I am a woman, everyone has free fucking reign to ogle my body no matter what I’m wearing, no matter what I’m saying or how I’m acting.
Precisely because I was born a woman, I have a one-way ticket into a tragic life of being constantly objectified.
I am so fucking tired of patriarchy and society’s asymmetrical treatment of women.
Society celebrates and “respects” women who cover up from head to toe, women who are “pure” and women who are subservient and prim-and-fucking-proper. Women who aren’t as straight-laced are automatically viewed as sluts, as girls practically begging for a “good time”, girls who are temptations and, What’s wrong with indulging with a little touch, a little taste?
She was asking for it, he says as he defends himself for catcalling a teenager out in the streets to have some fun with her friends.
I am so fucking tired of men who think they are soooo fucking entitled to free access to all the women they could ever want just because they have dicks.
PSA: Dicks are not fucking magical.
Dicks do not cure cancer, unless someone has tried cutting off a guy’s dick to experiment on it and see if it has the magical properties that chauvinistic pigs claim. In fact, even if dicks are the cure for cancer, it still doesn’t mean anything.
I am so fucking tired with how respect for women is still so fucking selective, awarded like it’s such a HUGE privilege for a woman to be respected in this day and age. Society awards respect to the select few who meet the “qualifications” of a woman who “deserves” respect, qualifications imposed by–surprise, surprise–patriarchy.
You wanna know what I think?
To hell with patriarchy.
Fuck patriarchy with the biggest dildo of shame that could fit in their ass. Let’s see them try to live with that, with the shame, oh the shame of your body being intruded just because it’s a body that could be intruded. Let’s see patriarchy live with the hungry eyes following every line of their body, covered or exposed, just because.
I am tired of trying to be as unobtrusive as possible.
I want to spread my wings and be free. I want to walk down the street with my head held high, outfit and makeup on point because I am confident and because I am comfortable with my skin. Because I am comforted by the idea that nothing untoward will come my way just because I am happy to own up to the woman that I have the potential (and right) to be.
I want to stop fearing for my safety, my “purity”, my “womanhood”, at every corner I turn to.
I want to start smiling in public because I know that smiling to someone will not translate to “I am willing and I am asking for it”.
I want women all over the world to step up and stop shaming their fellow women because they do not conform to what patriarchy wants. I want women all over the world to stop shaming other women for their brave choices. I want women all over the world to stop maliciously assigning each other tags that patriarchy created for us to hate each other.
Women, we are not what patriarchy made us to be just so chauvinist fucks can continue undermining us in every way.
Women, our enemy is not our fellow women.
Our enemy is patriarchy. Our enemy is also our inability to defend our right to be treated as people who deserve to be seen as people. Our enemy is how we perceive ourselves as weak. Our enemy is how we tell ourselves that we can’t.
We are all beautiful and we are all capable.
Featured Image by Nikolai Krusser