Being a Feminist & a Total Fucking Cliche at the Same. Damn. Time.

I’ve never shied away from voicing my stance on Feminism. One of my many bug-a-boos about being a woman is the box that we’re supposed to fit into in order to be “feminine”. I don’t appreciate being told who I am supposed to be or how I am supposed to act. I quite enjoy being different and flawed and fun.

However, just for funzies (yes, that is on purpose), here is a list of all the ways I am a total fucking cliche:

  1. When I get my period I want all the chocolate, Chinese food, and cuddly stuff all at once. I want to weep and scream and laugh and punch something.
  2. I fucking like pumpkin spice stuff, OK??!?!
  3. I own approximately 1 million romantic comedy DVDs and watch them on a rotation.
  4. I sneeze like a god-damned fairy princess. It’s cute as shit.
  5. Cleaning is like therapy for me. Messes are the devil and you best use a damn coaster.
  6. I have a yoga mat, dumbbells, and an elliptical all in the corner gathering cobwebs.
  7. If I see something tiny and cute, I might squeal.
  8. Weddings make me sob like Dawson when Joey chose Pacey.
  9. I would straight up run through a group of toddlers, step on them, shove them to the ground, elbow them in the nose to get to Joseph Gordon-Levitt if I saw him in the street.
  10. My apartment looks seance-ready with all the scented candles I have burning all at once on a daily basis.
  11. I have been known to wear a sexy halloween costume. Cat ears and tiny dress? Check.
  12. I would rather eat fire than make the first move if I’m interested in a guy.
  13. I JUST WANT PRETTY HAIR FOR ONCE IN MY DAMN LIFE!
  14. I might have saved that movie ticket stub from 7 years ago when we saw Step Brothers because I’m sentimental as shit.
  15. If a movie has a musical and/or dance sequence, I fucking own it.
  16. It takes me 13 years to pick out a body wash because I literally have to smell ALL OF THEM.
  17. Wine is like a son to me.

Now, just to save face a little bit, here are some ways that I’m not a total fucking cliche:

  1. I burp so damn loud my dog flinches.
  2. I want to set fire to all of Nicholas Sparks’s books. STOP WRITING SCREENPLAYS DISGUISED AS BOOKS SO YOU CAN LINE YOUR POCKETS – YOUR WRITING IS GARBAGE!
  3. “Relaxing” in a bath or hot tub makes me want to vomit.
  4. My favorite things to do are: reading, writing, watching baseball, doing crosswords, eating, drinking beer.
  5. My least favorite things to do are: shopping, painting my nails, doing my hair, wearing dresses, cooking, exercising or moving my body around in general.
  6. I have 1 bathing suit because I’m really freaking practical.
  7. I received the highest A.C.T. (The Midwest’s “S.A.T.”) score in my entire grade in high school.
  8. I learned to read/write/add/subtract when I was 4 years old.
  9. I won my 7th grade spelling bee.
  10. I live alone and prefer it.
  11. Finally, I drink and curse like a fucking WOMAN.

So, cheers to all those Feminists out there that might want to be a cliche once in awhile. Bravo!

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How Having Large Breasts Made Me a Feminist

I grew up like most other little girls, waiting, biding my time until I would have real breasts like the women I grew up around. I remember the first time I noticed a change in myself. I had developed little “buds” and I would just stare at myself in the mirror. I was one happy child.

What I didn’t expect was how quickly I would develop into the 36DD size that I am now. My body decided to make all my dreams come true and bless me with breasts of an adult woman at the age of 14.

The first time my classmates really noticed that I had changed came after a presentation on an invention I had come up with to my 7th grade science class. I went to a very small school in a very small town in Illinois. There were about 60 students in my grade. We had one science teacher for the whole middle school and he always videotaped our presentations and showed them to all his other classes. Now, my presentation went off without any problems. What happened when the video was shown to my class along with the other classes is another story. During my presentation, the teacher got distracted while behind the camera (I place none of the blame on the teacher, he was great), the angle of the camera changed, my face got cut off and the sole focus of the camera was on my chest. There was a good 20 seconds of just my chest before the teacher righted the camera again.

Not only was this video shown to my class while I was in it, but to all the other science classes that day (i.e. all the other students in my grade). My chest was all that anyone was talking about. The guys were being exactly how you would expect middle school boys to be–lots of open leers at my chest and inappropriate gestures. The girls were supportive, some made jokes, but none were mean which was a blessing.

After that, there was no hiding that I was developing. I became very closed off and shy. I never knew if a guy was actually interested in me or if he just wanted to see/touch my boobs and tell his friends and high-five. Grown men were looking at me different and hitting on me. I guess people don’t realize or care that just because a girl has a large chest does not make her a sexually mature adult. There was this one man that was dating one of my adult relatives that I would see once a year at family Christmas or some other family event that would only talk to my chest. He always asked how old I was, when I was starting college, etc. I would politely remind him (every year) that I was only 14, 15, 16, etc. He would then go on and on about how he could not believe I was so young, I sure didn’t look young. The creepy feeling that I got from this guy was so palpable I would find an excuse (any excuse) to extract myself from the conversation and hide from him for the rest of the night. That feeling has helped me get out of many similar situations with many similar men.

Once I got into high school, everyone wondered why I didn’t date anyone. I would always get asked if I was gay by my friends’ parents. Not really by my friends, because they knew me. I was certain that other people wondered the same thing, but it didn’t really bother me. I was still going to school with those same 60 people. We all knew everything about each other. Everyone was so close that you could not do anything without it getting around the entire school in what seemed like seconds. So, I knew if I were to engage in any kind of physical act with anyone at my school, everyone would know about it. The guys were dying to know about my breasts. No one had seen them, I was one of the last people to still be a virgin. I wanted to date and I wanted to do everything my friends were doing, but I was so sure that I would be the talk of the school the next day that I just couldn’t do it. I remained single until after high school.

What people don’t tell you (and what you will not understand) when you are a child, is how having large breasts turns you into a sexual object to men whether you want to be one or not. Just wearing a tank top on a hot day was something that I couldn’t do without looks from men and judgement from women. I was told I looked “slutty”. I was a teenager, not wanting attention, just wanting to be normal. I couldn’t wear clothes that my friends wore, because I had cleavage in everything. I started only wearing T-shirts and downplayed my looks to ward off advancements from men and judgements from others. Everyone talked about my boobs, but I couldn’t talk about them without being told I was trying to get attention. Sports bras were my best friends. If you ever saw me in a tank top, you better believe there was a sports bra on underneath.

Most women can relate to the injustice of being judged on a physical feature rather than intellect, achievements, or personality and work daily to show what is underneath the surface. All these events and just the day-to-day of carrying around this inferred sexuality that I did not want or identify with, turned me into the feminist that I am now. I feel like I would have gotten there eventually no matter what my circumstance, but the constant objectification from such a young age really made it sink in. A revolution was going on inside of me. I was not going to allow anyone to make me feel like I was less than what I felt I was worth. I have always had a voice and I don’t apologize for using it or expressing myself. There is validity to what I say and do, I am not for any person’s viewing pleasure.

I was not a slut for wearing a tank top, I didn’t ask for what was given to me and I wasn’t looking for attention. It took me a long time to get comfortable with the looks I received while wearing a tank top or low-cut top. I was sick of wearing a T-shirt or hooded sweatshirt on every occasion, even to parties and events. I was over all of it. I stopped being afraid and I found a self-confidence I always knew was there somewhere. I still don’t date easily. Being compared to a sex doll really makes you vet out the men trying to come into your life. I usually won’t date someone until I’ve known them a while and can really tell they like me for my personality. Despite the dating obstacle, I am a much happier person than I used to be since I accepted my body type and stopped allowing it dictate my life. The sports bras are strictly for sports now.

PROS AND CONS OF PERPETUAL SINGLEDOM

I am well into my 3rd year as a single woman. I had two long-term relationships back-to-back right after highschool, totaling 5 years in a relationship.  I had a great time during those 5 years, but what I found coming out of it (after the obligatory mourning period), was that I quite enjoy being on my own. I knew this was true for most of my life, growing up the youngest child fending for myself and growing into an independent woman. I REALLY knew it after experiencing 5 years of being with another person literally ALL OF MY TIME, then being thrust back into solitude.

While I have adjusted to my life with myself and my dog, some people have a very hard time imagining a life for themselves that does not involve a significant other. Fear not, I am here to educate. As a lover of lists, here are some pros and cons of living single:

PROS

DISCOVERING ONESELF
I cannot stress this enough, this has got to be the most rewarding part of being single that I have experienced. After going through my breakup with my first love, I was able to REALLY look at myself and my life through a lens not clouded by judgement or fear. I had become a person that I did not know, completely opposite of who I was before the relationship. Most of that had to do with naivete on my part. I always wanted to be the “cool girlfriend” that just went with the flow, when really what I was doing was denying my own personality. I became dependent, shy, and meek. After getting colossally dumped, I realized that I had built my life around my boyfriend and in no way around myself. I had alienated my friends who I never talked to anymore and I had put my own goals on hold to make sure I could be flexible in case I needed to adjust my life around his goals/accomplishments. Needless to say, it was a shock to the system when I figured out what I had done for the last 3 years of my life. I made some real changes, begged my friends for forgiveness and proceeded to have one of the best summers of my life.
I had many honest discussions with myself, who I had become during my relationship, and who I knew I really was. I picked myself up and made the decision to never apologize for being true to me, and to accept and love myself. If you are able to sit in a room by yourself and genuinely enjoy your own company, you can honestly do ANYTHING. There is something so profound about knowing who you are, what you want, and where you are going. Sure, inspiration can come from outside sources, but it is only you that can bring your true desires to life.

I GET TO BE AS GROSS AS I WANT 
I like to think I can be pretty “put-together” when I want to be…. BUT there is something sublime about not having to shave, like ever. To be honest, I don’t find body hair to be gross or unhygienic, but we all know the crippling insecurity of getting to know someone new and OH MY GOD DID I MISS A HAIR DID HE SEE IT OHMYGOD. You get the point. I haven’t necessarily given up on my own grooming, but it is quite fantastic to do it on my own terms.

NETFLIX – ALL OF THE NETFLIX!!!!!!!!!!
I know Netflix is just an disembodied entity out there somewhere in the ether, but if it was a person, it would be my person. I just don’t think I can share my life with Netflix AND a boyfriend, how would that even work? Would I have to talk sometimes? NO THANK YOU! Getting to choose all the shows/movies all the time is so, so underrated. God bless you Netflix, God bless you every one.

NO DRAMA
If you are unfamiliar when the song “No Drama” by the angelchild, Mary J. Blige, then please do yourself the favor of introducing yourself. Enough said.

CONS

PERCEIVED UNHAPPINESS
Single ≠ Unhappy. I don’t know why this myth won’t die. Yes, many many years ago, a woman’s sole purpose in life was, hopefully, to score an advantageous marriage and start a family. How that ideology manages to stick around, I just do not understand. There are many women happily married or in happy relationships, there are just as many happily single. The key word is HAPPY. What makes you happy is what counts. Just beware, long-term singledom can lead to pity from the smug marrieds.

THE “WHY ARE YOU SINGLE?” GUESSING GAME
You are going to get asked why you are single, a lot. Like, a lot, a lot. Also, when you don’t give a good enough answer, the guessing begins. My least favorite guess in the guessing game is: “Are you gay?”. Don’t get me wrong, this does not offend me because I do not find being gay offensive. As a very logical person, I am offended by the sheer lack of logic or reason behind the question. What does being single have to do with being gay? Last time I checked, there were plenty of people in gay relationships. If I were gay and single, would you ask: “Are you straight?”. In what universe does that make sense? Also, are you saying that if I were gay I would be so ashamed that I would want to hide it by not dating ANYONE? The irrationality of the guessing game is a huge CON.
Also, most of these guesses have to do with what could be wrong with you and what you may be doing to frighten potential suitors away. These life-sucking dementors don’t seem to understand that I am the one being selective. I’m not going to date someone just because they are there. I want someone amazing and if I cannot find that person, I find comfort knowing that I am with someone amazing already: myself.

NETFLIX
I know this is on the Pros list, but I’m a snuggler and it is nice to snuggle while watching Netflix for 8 hours straight. Not having someone to snuggle with when the mood strikes, makes it con-worthy as well. This is an easy solve with a pet or BFF.

FAMILY FUNCTIONS
Family functions are where 99% of the aforementioned guessing game takes place. I hope this only applies to me and everyone else’s families are supportive, understanding, and pleasant. I love them, I really do, but they can be BRUTAL, especially my siblings. It is nice to have someone there as a buffer. You know they’ve got your back when the nit-picking begins.

I think relationships can be really, really great. I just think it is important for people (women especially) to know that taking time for yourself can be wonderful, and even improve future relationships. There is no shame in wanting to find yourself and truly understand what it is that you want. When you know what makes you happy, you will be happy and bring happiness to others around you.