This is about the end of excuses. It's about the end of the perpetual apology and the idea that if we as women don't rally, pull ourselves together and support one another we won't make it out alive. [Insert reference to hobby lobby or endangered animal murdering models' opinions about life here.]
I'll be frank, as it isn't fitting for me to pussy-foot around a subject. What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to be a lady? What does it mean to be a good mother? Many of you stopped at each one for a split second and immediately an image projected into your mind. This perpetuated cycle where we continue to categorize and place value on the groups we belong to has to stop. What does a snapshot of my experience with this look like? Well, let's just say that the next person who tells me that my behaviours are "unladylike" will hear the wrath of my fierce Manolos walking toward their office. Ladylike?!?! What am I, a cartoon Cocker Spaniel? I believe that basic manners and a strong etiquette are essential for a peaceful living for all people; but how does being a lady substantiate my experience as a woman or my value as a human?
This type of oppression has led to ideas like the "sorry syndrome" which exemplifies a learned inadequacy in functioning and, it seems to be affecting my female friends at an alarming rate. What I have experienced is that women more often than not say "I'm sorry" than any other phrase. Well, I've had enough. I'm done with being sorry for being polite, I'm done with being sorry for being wrong and, I'm definitely done with being sorry for being bold. #sorrynotsorry
In my realization I decided to project my frustration and create a constructive outlet. Dear readers, you are my outlet. To gain insight into the experience of other women, I polled a bunch of friends on my personal Facebook page. I asked: "what are the things as a woman you will never apologize for?" Here is a compilation of some of my favourite answers:
1. Using profanity or being well-spoken
I LOVE to 'swear like a sailor' and so do other women! There are emotions that I experience that can only be expressed via an F- C- or A- word; or, combination of the three. Do I throw down in the middle of Sunday dinner? Only if it's about being cutthroat for the last piece of cheesecake, but what it doesn't do is make me less valuable or fitting as a woman. On the flip-side, I have a friend that experiences 'guff for being too well spoken! As if having an educated mind as a woman is a demerit in the game of life. Maybe we as women should just "be seen and not heard," that way maybe we could avoid total confusion for everyone... or not.
2. Eating all the things
Whether that's the last roll of Oreos or someone's genitals, what I do with my mouth is my business. Sure, I've ordered a salad at a restaurant before. Really though, it was because the wine was too good and my eye candy was even more so distracting that I couldn't wait to eat him when I got home -- but sometimes I am going to eat ALL THE THINGS, and then sometimes, I'm not. The bipolarity of what attractive versus healthy is has propelled eating disorders, general mental health concerns and the need for real beauty campaigns to convince ourselves of self-worth. Clearly as women we couldn't possible realize our own beauty as it seems that we have broken every mirror on the planet. Nurturing a healthy body image looks different to every person and body. What is most important that is at the core, it's about loving yourself.
3. Using birth control for contraception
Being mad about something called birth control that actually does what it's called, which is to control future unwanted births is ridiculous! There are many other great uses for birth control as well, such as to aid in lowering your risk for ovarian and endometrial cancer, clearing your skin of acne, or relieving PMS and endometriosis symptoms. Birth control is a mechanism that allows women to take control of their biological inheritance. If men get boxer shorts and patriarchy, I think I deserve the ability to manage the blooming of the fruit from my loins.
4. Having and LOVING a lot of sex
Having and loving a lot of sex is nothing to be ashamed of. NOTHING. I'm tired of the madonna/whore complex invading my closet, my vanity mirror and my underpants. You should have an intimate relationship with your lady-bits and if not, go and grab yourself a hand mirror and get yourself acquainted immediately! What's between your legs is far from being a penis-fly trap, but rather the door to pleasure and intimacy. The irrational fear that we have developed when it comes to talking about sex, having sex [especially with multiple partners and/or genders] and protecting ourselves from the consequences of sex has become overwhelming and created hazards which include purity balls, super gonorrhea and unsafe abortions. If you feel that you are emotionally, mentally and physically prepared to enter into any type of sexual relationship, whether it be casual or planned, then prepare yourself for the potential consequences that come with your decisions -- as is life.
5. Reacting to monthly biological functions
Because menstruating sucks and does not exactly feel like the miracle of life when I'm curled up in the fetal position on my couch, devouring a bag of Ruffles, while watching reruns of Dexter. There are days when I might cry at a cat commercial, be angry at the world as soon as I wake up for no good reason or just want my space and not have to cater to whatever life crisis you may be having. But, while we are talking about my period, if I have to witness another inappropriate schweaty ball scratch or misogynist story about using your cock as a muzzle, [and not in a mutually consenting way] then you can give me some space when it comes to discussing my monthly miracle of fucking life.
6. Not wanting the white picket fence
The white picket fence is the 2.3 kids, four bedroom house,"perfect" nuclear family ideal that is a better cover for your most imperfect life than Bruce Wayne as Batman. Stop apologizing for not wanting to get married, or have kids... and if you do, it doesn't necessarily have to be in that order. My value is not based on my ability to birth or maintain a long standing monogamous relationship. Choose what you value in your life and make those your priority. Then paint that fence purple.
7. Making you feel uncomfortable
Whether it's through my breast feeding in public, my quelling of the patriarchy or your offense to my sexual liberation - just because it threatens someone, doesn't mean you should apologize for being fierce in your words, conviction, fashion or body expression; even if it is read as mainstream passivity, ferocity or otherwise. I'm sorry, did my nipples offend you? Or is it that they arouse you, which makes you really uncomfortable, right? Who can realistically stand being turned on in public? How barbaric! #FreetheNipple bitches, and own your body, beauty, emotions and mind.