Be sexy, but not too sexy. Cover up, but don’t cover up too much. Don’t be a prude, but also don’t be a slut.
Gender inequality is still happening today. Change is hard. Change will always be hard. As a 24-year-old female, I have inevitably experienced firsthand (as well as witnessed) sexist remarks and behaviors at school, work, restaurants, bars, hospitals, the grocery store, and even in my neighborhood.
I recall this one time I was walking back to my apartment from my car. A stranger a few apartments down started yelling at me during my walk. I had never seen him before. He was older; I would guess late 50’s early 60’s. I was coming home from work. I had on a dress and heels with minimal make-up. The heels were low and the dress was long. He yelled something to the effect of, “Hey girl damn you look good how are you doing come talk to me.” I increased the speed I was walking and tried not to make any additional eye contact. He then yelled, “Wow you’re too good huh, fuck you, you dumb white bitch.” For whatever diluted reason, this stranger had decided that I owed him something based on my gender and my appearance. I undoubtedly knew and expressed to him that I did not.
Society continues to push outdated and sexist unwritten rules onto us.
Be sexy, but not too sexy. Cover up, but don’t cover up too much. Show your skin, but not too much skin. Don’t be a prude, but also don’t be a “slut.”
Act like a lady, but don’t be a bore. Get a boyfriend, but don’t have too many boyfriends. Have an opinion, but don’t be too outspoken. Stand up for yourself, but don’t get carried away. Ask for a raise, but not too much of a raise. Have feelings, but not too many feelings. Be independent, but not too independent.
The only actions you can control are your own.
I do not wish to push any rules or opinions onto you. I hope to inspire the courage to exercise your right to choose; Make choices for yourself that are about you and for you.
Be whoever the fuck you want. Talk to whoever you want when you want. Have sex with whoever you want. Wear whatever you want. Believe in whatever and whoever you want. Have as many feelings as you want. Say whatever you want to say. Talk too much. Talk too little. Work where you want to work. Live where you want to live. Travel where you want to travel. Try what you want to try. Test the boundaries and push the limits. Find what you love and do it.
Let yourself be defined by the person you truly are, not your gender.