HOW TO BE THE GIRL HE WANTS:
the first time someone tells you these words I hope you stick out your hand and catch the letters in the air I hope you crunch them in your fist I hope you shove them back into the mouth they flew out of I hope and pray you are not eight years old and hanging off of a shopping cart and groaning about how bored you are, I hope you were not young like I was the first time I read a magazine on a shelf underneath the candy I hope you weren’t young because I still thought everything I read had to be true - but better yet, I hope these words never find you.
They tell you to be strong but it’s the little things like this that sit on our hips and tangle in our hair and feel like bees when the night gets dark. It’s the little things we could never ever shake off because the minute we tried, we discovered there were more waiting for us.
HOW TO LOOK GOOD FOR SUMMER:
smile more often. I hope the first time someone calls you fat, you shimmy your shoulders and wink and feel like a goddess and take it as a compliment. I hope you are not the new kid in a fifth-grade class, glasses on your nose and your hair in tangles. I hope nobody ever touched your tummy and asked if you were embarrassed by the way it jiggles. I hope if you ever hear those words, you reach out your beautiful fingers and touch the temple of the person talking and ask, “Are you embarrassed your brain works like that?”
See, I have not gained weight since the eight grade and I’m twenty. I have had about four hundred people tell me I’m skinny but it’s only the two or three voices about the thickness of my thighs and the fat on my hips - these are the only voices that stick. Don’t give them that satisfaction. Take a bath. Stare at your reflection. Count the flecks beside your iris. Promise yourself you’re not going to ruin your life - you won’t let them win. Don’t let that moment cause ripples. Yank out the cruelty from your system.
HOW TO HAVE BETTER SEX:
stop faking it. Stop engineering your body to be a call-and-response of bruises and shots. I hope you are not fifteen the first time a boy kisses you hard. I hope you do not go home with a bloody mouth and spend the rest of your life thinking love is stained with iron. I hope you are not swallowing your sanity to be with somebody. I hope the first time you let someone touch you, they are someone worthy of your trust - I hope that nobody tries to force you into a label like “frigid” or “slut.”
In the animal world, most males have bright plumage so they can attract mates. In humans, we expect ladies to look a certain way. When you break out of the norm, suddenly you’re rattling chains. How dare you not want sex and still look this way. Maybe people are scared of admitting your body has power - it can turn heads in a baggy sweatshirt. Your body doesn’t need a magazine’s confirmation. Your body’s been through hell and still keeps on living. Put on your heels and stalk down the sidewalk. Take off your makeup. Do what you need to feel awesome.
HOW TO BE COMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SKIN:
ignore everything they tell you. Don’t let them in."
A thought experiment: Imagine how people might react if Taylor Swift released an album made up entirely of songs about wishing she could get back together with one of her exes.
We’d hear things like: “She can’t let go. She’s clingy. She’s irrational. She’s crazy.” Men would have a field day comparing her to their own “crazy” exes.
Yet when Robin Thicke released “Paula” – a plea for reconciliation with his ex-wife Paula Patton disguised as an LP — he was called incoherent, obsessed, heartfelt and, in particular, creepy.
But you didn’t hear men calling him “crazy” — even though he used it as the title of one of tracks.
No, “crazy” is typically held in reserve for women’s behavior. Men might be obsessed, driven, confused or upset. But we don’t get called “crazy” — at least not the way men reflexively label women as such.
“Crazy” is one of the five deadly words guys use to shame women into compliance. The others: Fat. Ugly. Slutty. Bitchy. They sum up the supposedly worst things a woman can be.
WHAT WE REALLY MEAN BY “CRAZY” IS: “SHE WAS UPSET, AND I DIDN’T WANT HER TO BE.”
“Crazy” is such a convenient word for men, perpetuating our sense of superiority. Men are logical; women are emotional. Emotion is the antithesis of logic. When women are too emotional, we say they are being irrational. Crazy. Wrong.
Women hear it all the time from men. “You’re overreacting,” we tell them. “Don’t worry about it so much, you’re over-thinking it.” “Don’t be so sensitive.” “Don’t be crazy.” It’s a form of gaslighting — telling women that their feelings are just wrong, that they don’t have the right to feel the way that they do. Minimizing somebody else’s feelings is a way of controlling them. If they no longer trust their own feelings and instincts, they come to rely on someone else to tell them how they’re supposed to feel.
Small wonder that abusers love to use this c-word. It’s a way of delegitimizing a woman’s authority over her own life.
Most men (#notallmen, #irony) aren’t abusers, but far too many of us reflexively call women crazy without thinking about it. We talk about how “crazy girl sex” is the best sex while we also warn men “don’t stick it in the crazy.” How I Met Your Mother warned us to watch out for “the crazy eyes” and how to process women on the “Crazy/Hot” scale. When we talk about why we broke up with our exes, we say, “She got crazy,” and our guy friends nod sagely, as if that explains everything.
Except what we’re really saying is: “She was upset, and I didn’t want her to be.”
Many men are socialized to be disconnected from our emotions — the only manly feelings we’re supposed to show are stoic silence or anger. We’re taught that to be emotional is to be feminine. As a result, we barely have a handle on our own emotions — meaning that we’re especially ill-equipped at dealing with someone else’s.
That’s where “crazy” comes in. It’s the all-purpose argument ender. Your girlfriend is upset that you didn’t call when you were going to be late? She’s being irrational. She wants you to spend time with her instead of out with the guys again? She’s being clingy. Your wife doesn’t like the long hours you’re spending with your attractive co-worker? She’s being oversensitive.
As soon as the “crazy” card is in play, women are put on the defensive. It derails the discussion from what she’s saying to how she’s saying it. We insist that someone can’t be emotional and rational at the same time, so she has to prove that she’s not being irrational. Anything she says to the contrary can just be used as evidence against her.
More often than not, I suspect, most men don’t realize what we’re saying when we call a woman crazy. Not only does it stigmatize people who have legitimate mental health issues, but it tells women that they don’t understand their own emotions, that their very real concerns and issues are secondary to men’s comfort. And it absolves men from having to take responsibility for how we make others feel.
In the professional world, we’ve had debates over labels like “bossy” and “brusque,” so often used to describe women, not men. In our interpersonal relationships and conversations, “crazy” is the adjective that needs to go."
my mom has been a cop for over 20 years and she is the one who constantly warns me about police aggression and young male cops and told me that if you’re ever alone on a rural road and a cop throws their lights on to put on your four ways and drive to the next gas station before stopping because so many cops are scum and it’s not worth the chance of getting hurt. the fact that SHE feels the need to tell me this shit scares me to death
“You are w o r l d - c l a s s .”
a person of or among the best in the world.
It happens again because of course it does. Insecurity so deep that even razors can’t reach it don’t just vanish over night. There are days when he knows - knows - that her fears are all she sees and that the love in his eyes don’t mean a damn.
But he’s ready this time when her old fears come knocking. He’s got words he’s saved up for her, an umbrella of words to shield her from all the shit falling on her head. Words he thinks she only hears when she’s squashed so flat she’s got no choice but listen to him as she climbs up outta the hole she’s stuck inside.
I love you because your hand fits in mine like it was made for it. I love you because no one else has wanted my words the way that you do. I love you because when we’re naked I feel like I’m where I belong. I love you because I do, because we fit together perfectly, because I can’t imagine a world where you’re not with me and when I do I feel like I might hurl, I love you I love you I love you because you are you and you are amazing.
He thinks that some days she even believes him. On the days she doesn’t, he just keeps telling her. It don’t matter if she’s got dark days, long as she let’s him shine some light to keep her warm.
Holy shit Maggie! I want you to know that there is water leaking out of my eyes and it’s your fault.