To My Fellow Women, It’s Time To Take Up Space

Cristian Newman

As women
we tend to hunch our shoulders
shying away from standing tall
“I’m sorry”
“Of course!”
“Yes yes and more yes”
the most common phrases
dripping out like a doll

we say we’re not stepford wives
but watch women at a potluck
who made the best dip?
and now how exactly did you do that?
did you cook the onions before putting it into the slow cooker?
or after?
oh I made the same dish as you?
oh yours is better
i’m sorry
you’re the best

It’s like we are all so scared of stepping on another’s toes
so worried that we may feel something differently than someone
i don’t give a shit how you made your dip
but we want to fit in
and without realizing it we try so hard to do just that

it’s funny
our grandmothers
they fought for free speech
the right to their voice
to use our voice
but here we are
giving away our power
meekly making sure
that Suzy, Tom’s mom
on the PTA
is happy with us
that we attended the meeting
or sold the most cakes
so they approve of us
so we don’t let anyone down
i mean
we can’t disappoint the committee
the committee of judging parents
watchful eyes
so we stress ourselves out
push ourselves to the max
we don’t want to make a fool of ourselves
if we stutter
in the yoga class
that we desperately want to teach
so we don’t teach
and we don’t say no
and we don’t run for office
and we don’t win
so we can’t make the changes
we desire
because we’re pushed against a wall
because we’re playing small

why would we be anything
when the others are so good at what they do?
i’ll just sit quietly
and fume
and resent them all
and pretend to love my life
but die inside
everyday

we live in a society
of “can’ts”
and “shouldn’ts”
and “sorrys”

rather than
“fuck yeses”
and “hell yas”
and “fuck NOs”

all I have to say to women
is this one simple thing

take up some
god
damn
space

you’re amazing
perfection
the Rolls Royce of the world
women everywhere
you’re worth it
without Maybelline telling you so
you deserve to linger when you’re ordering coffee
you’re allowed to take a breath before you make everyone’s day
take an hour to decide what you want to wear
take a lifetime to choose a mate
you’re allowed to stutter in yoga class
if it’s pushing you to be your best
you’re allowed to speak your truth
every single time
please
speak your truth
even if your voice shakes

you’re allowed to take space
take up some space for your heart
take up some space for your mind
take up some damn space for yourself

you’re allowed to be seen
and be heard
in fact you must
we need you

we need you

did I say it enough?
we need you

you don’t need to give
and give
and then give
without filling yourself up

we need you
as a full being

because
you
women of the world
you hold the key

so please
show our daughters
and our sons
women are not nice
just to be nice
they’re kind
in the heart
and a fucking giant
in the soul

they take up space
in this world

space for them

space they deserve
that says they’re worthy
they light candles
on their own
just to sit in a cozy space
they run baths
for themselves
wear underwear
with lace
set up paints
and just paint
they eat steak
they didn’t make
they drink champagne
not in vain
but because they’re worth
every
last
bubble

women
of the world
you’re worth it

think throughout the day
am i playing small?
or am I standing tall?

it’s amazing

when one woman stands tall
the rest feel the call

so please
women of the world
for me

this it is

so that I can take up mine

take up
some
god
damn
space. TC mark

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