To The Fierce Women Who Don’t Allow Society To Tell Them What To Do

Paige Muller

I’m sorry you have been told you need to be pretty to be a woman.

Pretty is just a six-letter word pronounced with two syllables. If they had called you pretty, they would’ve limited you to a simple word. You weren’t created to be beautiful, not meant to sit still and look pretty like the good girl everyone wants you to be.

You weren’t made to be perfect, or small, or obedient.

Let me tell you, you were created so that you could shake the earth off its axis, start forest fires, bring the world itself to her knees begging for your mercy. You were created with your fate written in the stars, with your destiny scrawled in the oceans. You were created to yell until your voice is hoarse and laugh until your stomach hurts and fight until every muscle in your body begs for a rest, but you were created to quiet them and keep fighting.
They wanted you to be just pretty. They thought they were flattering you, but they were just downgrading your existence to a piece for show. You are more than that. Way more than that.

I’m sorry you have been told you always need to be a wife to be a woman.

Love stories have told you that you need someone else to love and complete you. They have lied, for all the love the world needs live inside of you. You are not a broken piece begging to be filled. You are the tales of the women of the first rising sun- the discovery of your sacristy breaks their silence. You are the fertility of your native land’s soil and the shifting phases of the moon. You are not an empty sun waiting to shine. You were born with trillions of stars in your heartbeat. You are the beginning.

Love starts with you. You are a woman who can build a home all on your own if you need to.

I’m sorry you have been told you always need to say “yes” to be a woman.

Before you were even born, you were taught to be oppressed by men and boys. You were taught to sacrifice yourself for their peace. You were taught to not eat the last piece of cake because they were hungry even after gulping down the whole cake. You were taught to give up on your dreams just to fulfill theirs. You were taught to let it go and walk away because they were stronger than you or at least they were to be considered stronger.

Well, not anymore. You say “no” when they asked you to burn yourself to keep them warm. You say “no” when they asked you to give up pieces of you like you are just a piece of meat. You say “no” when they asked you to bend your knee when you don’t deserve to do so. You say “no” when they asked you to apologize for their mistakes. You say “no” when they asked you to give them credit when they don’t deserve it. “No” is not a word exclusive only for women to speak.

Your body has become a shrieking storm. Never apologize for your violent disturbance. Don’t allow anyone to tell you what your nature is. Your hands are here to hold so much more than pepper spray and egos. Your body is your dictatorship and not a democracy that takes rules from your parents and the government and your partner. Not a mythical creature to add inhumane expectations on to. Not a showpiece. Or a secret. Or a stereotype.

Your body is where you dwell. It belongs to you. Let it stay that way.

I’m sorry you have been told you need to be silent to be a woman.

I know that you are sick of hearing men talk about honor and courage as if we were on a battlefield. Men who, for all their strict moral codes, can’t grasp empathy, compassion and common decency. You’re tired of the reasoning that allows them to believe that rationality is just whatever allows them to get their own way, and that anyone who disagrees must be illogical, emotional and entirely ridiculous.

They told you to be quiet, to not utter a word against them, for it could bruise their fragile egos and you were taught to mumble when you should’ve been shouting. They told you to bow down when you should’ve been rising.

Well, let me assure you: Your voice is beautiful, and it is not humorous, so it is not to be taken lightly. Your voice can burn cities and break the Earth. You are fucking terrifying.

Your voice is not cute, it is not sexy, and should never be undermined by any man or any person for that matter. Your voice is shattering, and you crash into yourself like waves on foreign beaches in the strongest and fiercest of storms. Let your cheeks grow sharp and your voice shrill bring them to their knees.

Your validity is ferocious. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

An artist, writer, editor, and feminist based in the Philippines.

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