i recently bought this incredible patch from this etsy shop.
i take pride in dressing like an angsty teenager, okay?
when i showed this to my mother, the first thing out of her mouth was, “i just don’t want anyone to hurt you for what you believe in”.
which is totally fair- especially coming from my mama. but after giving it some thought… it really made me angry. not at her, of course, but that wearing a pretty little floral back patch with a cat on it could potentially put me in danger, simply because the words pro-choice and feminism were on it.
my first thought is this:
i’ve been chastised and judged based on my appearance for as long as i can remember- whether it be for controversial band patches sewed onto my clothing, or the tattoos inked into my skin: someone has always had an opinion. even as a young girl, instead of being congratulated or praised for having such a strong opinion, and standing so firmly for what i believe in, i was constantly in trouble. in the seventh grade i had to print out Rancid lyrics for my principal, just so he could decide whether or not i could wear their t-shirt in the school hallways- while the rest of the student body were allowed to wear 50 cent t-shirts, and baggy jeans below their butts. because apparently thirteen year olds promoting sex and drugs is much more appropriate.
and what about the religious fanatics on public transportation grabbing at my skin, throwing their rosaries in my face, and praying at my tattoos- begging god to save me from a life of sin.
or the ignorant teenagers that called me a freak for having purple hair and wearing a leftover crack patch on my denim jacket.
or the judgemental assholes who called me a nazi for wearing doc martens. here’s a little tip: educate yourself on the skinhead movement before you call someone a racist… because that’s a pretty strong accusation if i’ve ever heard one.
i’d just like to know what in the hell makes it okay for pro-lifers to march the city streets with signs displaying pictures of an aborted fetus, and yet i can’t sport a back patch stating my personal opinion. i completely agree that abortion should not be used as a form of birth control, and if you’re taking risks, then you should be ready to accept the concequences… but accidents DO happen. and for some women, going through the process of aborting their child is their worst nightmare.
i know because i’m one of those women.
my pregnancy was an accident. i was using birth control, i was safe… and yet at seventeen, freshly dumped by my abusive, junky of a boyfriend, i found myself pregnant with his child.
i had a choice.
a choice! oh, what a world!
did i make the right decision? could i have made it work? am i selfish?
as a woman, this was the hardest decision i ever made. but i look at my life now, and i know at the bottom of my heart that i could not have given my sweet baby the life she deserved. a life with healthy, loving parents. a life void of fear and abuse. because how do you explain bruises to a child? how do you explain the binges and the anger and the terror and the drugs? i could barely save myself from the horror of loving m, how in the world could i have protected her from it?
do you know how hard it is to see a picture of a dead infant, when you’re still mourning the loss of your own? i’m very aware of what i did, and i will punish myself forever because of my decision, in some way. i certainly don’t need a constant reminder that i wasn’t fit to be a parent at seventeen. i don’t need to be reminded that i made the decision i made because the monster of a man i was selfishly, and stupidly in love with could have potentially been an even worse father than he was a boyfriend.
i’m not afraid to defend how i feel.
after the years of abuse i survived at his hands, i made the choice to save my baby from that same kind of pain. and fuck you if you can’t appreciate that.
the world is scary, and it can be ugly, and people are mean.
i spent so much time being angry, when i could have spent it opening my heart, and learning to love again. high shcool was a bust, and adulthood was and continues to be an endless road of self-discovery. and if there is anything i’ve learned at all, it’s how important it is to band together, as human beings.
and as for feminism?
i once read somewhere that feminism isn’t about man hate… it’s about woman love.
it could have been very easy for me to hate all males because woe is me, and a man ruined me forever, etc… but i’m not that kind of woman. i have strength, and pride, and courage. and he just happened to be one bad seed in the crop of incredible men i’ve had the pleasure of meeting in my life. and women- WOMEN! need to stop hating each other!
there’s an incredible amount of jealousy, and insane amounts of pressure to be the ideal woman.
and what the fuck is that?
who decides what our roles should be? whether you want to be a busy business woman, or a raise a family and be a wife- or gasp! both! … just do it. do what makes you happy, and live the life you want to live. personally, i don’t want an enormous house, or a minivan in the garage… but i know i want to marry a good man, and make babies with him, and raise those little hipster babies with off-beat names not to be ignorant shitheads in society. that’s my goal… i want to raise a family, and love them with with every fibre of my being. i want to support who they want to be, and what they want to be, and everything they need to do to get there. they can be who they want to be, so long as they don’t hurt anyone in the process.
because that’s all this is about…
learning to believe in what we want to believe in without inflicting pain on other people.
and who decides that a size 0 waist is better than a woman with curves, or that long hair is better than short hair? every single thing about every single person can be beautiful, if you look at it the right way. nobody on this planet is built the same. some women have to work out seven times a week, and cut carbs from their diets just to fit into a size ten. other women get to eat cheeseburgers for breakfast, and they look incredible in bikinis.
who fucking cares.
my parents raised me to be tolerant, and to love myself first.
don’t get me wrong… i struggle sometimes. i look in the mirror, and i hate my stretch marks, or my thighs are too thick for cut-off shorts. but i was blessed with healthy hair, and great nailbeds, and tits til tuesday. while i have to work very hard to keep my waist small, other things come so easy for me. i’ve never shaved my armpits, for example. i just don’t grow hair there! it’s soft, like a baby’s butt, and i am ready for strapless dresses and bikini tops all summer. and yet, i can’t cut myself a break because of my big butt.
first world problems, AMIRITE?!
listen… all i’m trying to say is that everyone has a right to an opinion. maybe the delivery is what needs a little work- but whatever. express how you feel, and say what you mean! don’t hide, don’t hold back… don’t be afraid to be who you are- so long as you aren’t hurting anyone… because who you are is all you’ve got, in the end.
learn it! live it! love it!
appreciate the women (AND MEN!) around you. remember: everything is relative, and we’ve all had to overcome pain, or stress, or loss- in some way or another. love your friends, praise the strong women (AND MEN!) you meet in your life, and don’t get so hungup over the fact that they look better in skinny jeans than you do, or they have more money in their bank account, or they’ve reached a point in their lives that you haven’t reached quite yet.
because what do you know about my pain? the struggle to make it through every day? and what do i know about yours? instead of hating each other, get to know the women (AND MEN!) around you, and learn to love everything about them that makes them who they are. it isn’t always easy- but fuck, at least stop hating. that’s a first step, isn’t it?
because i may have a fat ass… but i have a good head on my shoulders, strong skin on my bones, and love in my heart to give.
so spread the love, (wo)man.