Take Up Space

If I had a dollar for every time I have been told I am too forward, too intimidating, too bitchy, too aggressive, too you-fill-in-the-blank I could retire. The thing is, aside from being aggressive when playing sports I am none of those things. Confidence in women is too often reduced to bitchiness. I’m actually pretty nice. I was taught to take up space in this world so I do just that, but because I am a woman it makes people uncomfortable. Their uncomfortableness is none of my business.

I don’t apologize when I ask a question or make a statement. I don’t laugh at the end of statements, either, just in case what I said was too strong and the words need to be softened. I have a right to my thoughts and expressing them. I like to win. I like to be the best, to make money, to yell at my football team during the fourth quarter during a goal line stand. I don’t excuse the meals I eat and when I’m still hungry yes I will eat dessert. I workout to keep my body strong not to punish it for processing calories. I sweat when I workout, dripping sweat and heaving chest because I go big or go home. I don’t not apologize for the space I take up in this world. I have every right to it.

I am teaching my daughter to be these things, because in between painting our toes and playing mermaids and doing glittery art projects we talk about business and economics and tarantulas and how to use our voices. We discuss politics and take out maps and plan adventures around the globe. I will not teach her to shrink, to speak meekly, to not eat pizza when she is hungry.

She will take up space in this world.

Someone once said to me that my parents raised me like a boy, like my brothers. No. My parents raised me to be a woman who is not afraid to be a woman.

Take. Up. Space.

Sexy Merida Did Not Take Place In A Vacuum

The redrawing and sexualizing of Merida did not take place in a vacuum. It is sexy Merida + cast of existing coquettish princesses + Barbie empire + Bratz + Monster High + Winx Club + sexy Tinker Bell+ + sexualized clothing in Girls dept at stores + lack of meaningful roles and representation in media + culture saturated in sexualization and objectification of females of all ages + + + +

They’ve even sexed up My Little Ponies, Rainbow Brite, and Candy Land. CANDY LAND, People.

Each one of these instances is a drip landing in a bucket. The problem is, that bucket is now overflowing and our young daughters are standing in a BIG frigging mess, knee deep. And the stain left by that mess is the idea that looking sexy for external validation, to the exclusion of ALL other characteristics and talents, is what gives a girl her worth.

Hell no. HELL. NO.

For those who say we should be concerned about rape culture and equal pay and lack of equal political representation, yes. Yes we should be, and that is the weight women bear on our shoulders. But instead of telling us what to think, because that just doesn’t go over well with me, try thinking from our perspective and seeing that ALL of those problems some think are bigger, independent issues start as the festering sore that is the complete sexualization and objectification of women in our society. How can women as a whole achieve parity in society if individually we are only valued by that society according to how f*ckable we are? THIS is where that idea gets its start, and that idea is being taught to our very smallest of girls.

That idea doesn’t sit well with me. I think it is time we change the way we think about our girls.

This is how girlhood is marketed. Is this okay with you?