Ladies and gentlemen,
Ladies. My she/her/her’s readers. Are you ever tired of being you? I am. I am all the time.
I’m tired of the little things. I’m tired of the way my bra feels when the wire digs into my sides and when I take it off at the end of the day and it has left small indents all over my shoulders and rib cage. I’m frustrated with strapless bras. They either pull all the air out of you and are reminiscent of corsets, or they fall down and are just a recipe for a nip slip. I’m tired of paying for tampons, bringing tampons around, forgetting tampons, and spending so much time thinking about tampons. Having to count days out until the next time I need a tampon. Tired of finding them everywhere when I don’t need them and finding them no where when I do. I’m done with breaking my favourite elastics and losing my favourite scrunchies. Or leaving the house and forgetting to bring hair elastics so you spend all day thinking about what you can use to tie your hair up. Or God forbid you use a real elastic band, which will never come out without using a pair of scissors and losing some hair. I’m tired of using bobby pins and losing bobby pins and getting stabbed by bobby pins. Or forgetting you had them in your hair and going to wash it, only to have to try and untangle the clump of wet hair and shampoo that is stuck in your bobby pin.
Tired of when you put on tights on and instantly put a run in them. And you just paid 10 dollars for those tights but you caught them on a toe nail and now they’re useless and you have to throw out 10 dollars because someone might actually see the texture of your skin and that’s why we wear pantyhose, isn’t it? And that’s just the little things.
And I’m tired of the medium things. I’m tired of the period cramps. The ones that wake you up at night and hurt so bad you want to vomit. The ones that make you sweat in class and clench your fists until they’re white and little crescent shape marks are left in your palms. I’ve seriously considered removing my uterus to make them stop because sometimes the cramps don’t stop. Fuck it, I’m just tired of periods. Of the ones that catch you off guard and the ones that show up a week late just to screw with you and you’re trying to do the math over and over again, while figuring out what might happen if you tell someone you’re late. What do you do? I’m tired of the label “feminist”. Because being a feminist makes me intolerable and not being a feminist makes me intolerable. Of everyone having an opinion over my opinion. Can we just make a new word? Let’s all just call ourselves, I don’t know, "sweet potato"? And "sweet potato" just means you want things to be equal because being a feminist is too hard when everyone keeps putting new labels on an old word and I can’t keep track of who I’m supposed to hate and what TV shows I can or can’t watch and which story I’m supposed to listen to. And from here on out I’m just "sweet potato".
I’m tired of being told that it’s good “for a girl” because what the hell does that mean? My skill level or intellect or determination is not something is defined by my ovaries, but by my experience and by my personality. If you want to say that I’m talented “for a beginner” or loud “for an introvert” that’s okay because those are valid reasons to be surprised, but “for a girl” is never something that should cross your lips. And that’s the medium things.
And I’m exhausted by the big things. I’m exhausted of walking on the well-lit side of the street. My feet hurt from taking the long way home, because the long way home is safer and I’m not an idiot. My hands hurt from holding my keys so tight when I walk. As if the small silver keys between my fingers will defend me because Lord knows my marshmallow-muscles are not going to be able to defend myself. I’m tired of being told, “You’re going to get the wrong kind of attention if you wear that”. Because I fucking paid for it so I’m going to wear it. Because I shouldn’t have to hide the fact that genetics gave me boobs and a waist because they did. I’m tired of the words, “slut” and “whore” and “bitch” because who has the right to label people that? I’m tired of being a prude for not going far enough and but a slut for going too far. I’m tired of trying to figure out which boys are the “good guys” and which boys are genuinely good guys. I’m fucking tired.
Because there are good guys. There are the boys who walk you home and get you Motrin for the cramps and keep tampons in their car for the periods that catch you off guard. And they get drowned out by the labelling of “good” vs. good and I've tried to figure it out on my own but I keep getting it wrong and I don't know what to do anymore.
And I don’t blame boys because I can’t. They don’t understand because they aren’t me. They can’t understand that the fear will drive you insane before the act even happens. They don’t know what it’s like to wear heels for 6 hours, or cat-called on your way home, or even worse, followed. They don’t know. So, I’m not upset that they don’t get it because how can they? And yes, maybe one day they’ll be on the wrong side of the street, but I can’t write for that experience because I’m writing for me.
And sometimes I want to scream and throw things but I’m worried that someone will call me hormonal. I want to talk about my feelings, but guys don’t do that so maybe I shouldn’t, and I want to ask for help but I can’t tell which boys are the right ones to be alone with. And writing this feels like I’m beating a dead horse because the women already know all this. The women already know about the mascara goop in you eyes and the cost of getting a wax and the feeling when nothing fits right and that moment when you’re in his apartment and you nearly stop to pray for a moment and say “please don’t let it be me tonight”. And maybe none of these things individually would break me, but they’re not individual. The small, the medium and the big things add up and crush your spine until you don’t just hurt from the cramps. And I get that we’re all moving forward, and things are getting better and yes, we all have it hard but I’m tired. I’m just tired.
From me, with love, to you,