There are a number of things that women have been trained to be “sorry” for, and I want to clear up about which things I am NOT sorry.
1. Having my period. I’m a woman, I will have periods. I am not going to apologize for my biology,
even (especially) if it interferes with a man’s sexual desires/fantasies.
2. Loving sex. It doesn’t make me a slut. My number doesn’t matter. Sex feels good for both men and women, in fact women have more nerve endings in their clitoris (8,000) than the entirety of the penis (4,000)… and that’s only the clitoris, there are even more nerve endings in the women’s pelvic area (up to 15,000!!!!). Sex-shaming or slut-shaming is not limited to male vs. female interactions, but is also a phenomenon in the female vs. female interactions. We need to stop slut-shaming, stop asking the number of partners someone has had, stop asking our friends if we look like sluts, and STOP calling each other sluts (behind our backs or to our faces).
3. Not always feeling sexual. I am not here to service men whenever they feel like having sex. I have every right to say no, and I do not owe anyone sex EVER. FOR ANYTHING. UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. If I want to lounge around under a fart blanket while watching Netflix, that’s my prerogative and it’s okay.
4. Being gassy. (See fart blanket reference in #3) Our digestive system works pretty much the same as men’s and thus women will also have gas. Here’s another little tid-bit… we poop too. Get over it. Our bodies have to have these processes to keep us alive and I will not apologize.
5. Needing alone time. We ALL need time to unwind, regardless of gender. As busy as my mind is, as much as I do, I deserve some down time. Alone time for me is a time to organize my thoughts, escape from judgement and disappear into my couch. Every person is different when it comes to how much down time/alone time they need, but the main point is to feel comfortable taking what time you need.
6. Watching porn/masterbating. Not all pornography is geared towards men, and it is my choice to watch whatever type of porn that I desire. I can have any fetishes I desire, and I can explore my body whenever I please. Masterbation can be used to figure out what works for me (then to perfect it), for relaxation, or even to get me aroused pre-interaction with my boyfriend. We (most of us) are sexual beings, and there’s no reason that women should feel limited in the ways that they explore or express their sexuality.
7. Wanting or not wanting to have children. It is one of the most important decisions that we must make in our lives, but it is just that a decision. Society dictates that we must have 2.5 children, a perfect marriage and a house with a white picket fence— however that’s not what we ALL envision for ourselves. My view on having kids wavers back and forth, but regardless, it’s my right to choose, and I’m not apologizing.
8. Eating real food, and as much of it as I want. I have always been the friend who people would expect to finish off the dinner or dessert (or whatever). I do not apologize for loving food. I love trying new things (just tried roasted bone marrow), but I am also known to find a favorite item and stick with it for a while. It’s a GOOD thing not to worry so much about the
way you look and allow yourself to enjoy the cuisine that people spend their lives perfecting for our tastebuds. Why waste time on the same ol’ house salad everywhere? Give me the chef’s specialty avec les frites.
9. Relaxing on shaving. No-shave November brought it to my attention how much I enjoy my boyfriend’s face shaved. Though I am lucky enough to have a boyfriend who never criticizes the frequency of my shaving (which ranges between daily to biweekly– depending on moods and seasons), I have not always been so lucky. Inevitably there will be a point when someone notices my prickly legs or two-day growth under my arms… and it’s OKAY. Everyone grows hair, everyone maintains it how they see fit– and that should be the end of it. It doesn’t matter what you think about it or what anyone else thinks about it. If a woman decides to stop shaving all together it’s HER CHOICE. If a man decides he doesn’t want leg or underarm hair, that’s HIS choice and it’s okay.
10. Being “bossy.” Being “bossy” has become a misogynistic categorization for strong, independent women who have opinions and aren’t afraid to make themselves heard. There is a new movement to “ban-bossy” in the workplace because it is used to demean women so often, however some women disagree with the movement. The opponents of the ban-bossy movement want to take BOSSY back, citing that they are “bossy and proud.” I fall into the category of bossy and proud, but however you feel about the word, stop apologizing for being a LEADER. Embrace your inner-bossy.
11. Being afraid to walk alone in the dark. Statistics show that women are susceptible to many forms of harassment while walking alone at night. It’s not being overly-cautious (in fact it’s completely necessary) to take self-defense classes, to carry pepper-spray or to learn which routes are the safest/have the best lighting. In fact, it’s smart to be prepared, and we should be equally aware of the dangers we face and empowered by the preparations we have taken to defend ourselves.
12. Demanding equality. Duh, women deserve equality. It doesn’t seem like I should actually need to write anything here because it should be common sense; unfortunately it’s not. Women have been fighting for equality since forever, and the fight is long from over. We deserve equal pay, we deserve to be taken seriously in whatever career we choose (from stay at home mom to rocket scientist), we deserve to have a voice, and we deserve to have full control of our OWN bodies.
13. Not being flattered by misogynist “compliments.” Whether it’s a passer-by on the city transport or a handsome man at a bar, I refuse to pretend to be amused by these compliments. Misogynistic compliments could be anything that belittles my intellect down to nothing while focusing 100% on the fact that I’m a woman (I have boobs! I have legs! I wear skirts!). There are ways to compliment a woman such as telling her how much you value her intellect or insight (because you respect her and notice more than surface level appearances). I just hope that women start to realize the true purpose of these sexist comments: to make us feel inferior and think we are not as good as men so they can maintain the control.
14. Not wearing makeup. Women use makeup to enhance what we have, but we should not feel ashamed when we choose to go au-natural. I wear makeup because of the artistic side of things; I enjoy choosing and blending colors, and creating different looks based on whatever inspires me that day. However, there are plenty of days where I just want my skin to breathe, or I am not preoccupied with my looks (maybe I’m doing chores or being lazy on a weekend). For the days that I choose no makeup, I will not feel ashamed of my bare face, I will not apologize for my lack of makeup, instead I will appreciate the feeling of sun on my cheeks.
15. Wearing what I want. Clothing choices do not give anyone an excuse to rape women, clothing does not make someone a slut, clothing does not mean that I want to have sex with the next man I see. I wear what makes me feel good; some days that might mean massive cleavage, other days it might mean a giant sweatshirt– and that’s OKAY!
Okay so now that we’ve covered that… do any of you have something you want to stand up for and say I’M NOT GOING TO APOLOGIZE FOR ________? If so, please leave a reply with your ideas!