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When a young girl is raised to believe her natural curiosity is less valuable than the dry cleaning to get the mud stains out of her summer dress, when she is given toys to teach her how to police her body, when she is taught in school that it was men who achieved all things of value in society, my eyes cry for her, raised to believe second class is her natural place.
When that girl hits puberty and she learns she is to pay the price for Eve’s sin once each month with blood and pain, that her body makes her weak, makes her inferior, that her very existence is shameful, her role in life is as a sex object and a human incubator, her pain is not to be taken seriously, her complaints are invalid and to be looked over, my voice cries out for her, socialized to police and to hate her own physical form.
When I see a man laugh slurs at a young women’s face and she smiles and she postures but in her eyes her soul is being chipped at, as usual, same old same old, because she can not safely tell him, “No, stop, don’t call me that, it hurts.” without that man taking insult to being called out on his insult, my bones and my brow ache for her, constrained by society, forced to choose between social acceptance and self respect.
When a woman tells me about how her rapist walks free, about how she had to give up her friends because they shamed her, blamed her, took his side as if he is incapable of lying, his honesty taken for granted despite mixed defenses and changing stories, his actions excused, as if the decisions of men are the fault of women, my blood boils for her, betrayed by society, isolated from justice.
When after a life time of being told to stand aside, step down, to wait your turn, to come second, a woman enters a feminist space and is told that this is not a place for her to talk about the experiences of being female, that her issues do not deserve to be centered, that she is privileged for being raised the way she was, that she is privileged for the body that she has, that she must consider first and foremost the feelings of people with penises, the same as she has always been taught, my soul can take no more. Feminism should prioritize females, always, first and foremost–if female issues can’t be prioritized in feminism, then where?
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