I am surprised by how much sex I have had in my life that I didn’t want to have. Not exactly what’s considered “real” rape, or “date” rape, although it is a kind of rape of the spirit - a dishonest portrayal or distortion of my own desire in order to appease another person.
I said yes because I felt it was too much trouble to say no. I said yes because I didn’t want to have to defend my “no,” qualify it, justify it - deserve it. I said yes because I thought I was so ugly and fat that I should just take sex every time it was offered, because who knew when it would be offered again. I said yes to partners I never wanted in the first place, because to say no at any point after saying yes for so long would make our entire relationship a lie, so I had to keep saying yes in order to keep the “no” I felt a secret. That is such a messed-up way to live, such an awful way to love.
So these days, I say yes only when I mean yes. It does require some vigilance on my part to make sure I don’t just go on sexual automatic pilot and let people do whatever. It forces me to be really honest with myself and others. It makes me remember that loving myself is also about protecting myself and defending my own borders. I say yes to me.
I took this last year, but in retrospect, I think it’s my strongest piece from high school.
Working on this project really made me examine my own opinions, preconceptions and prejudices about “slutty” women and women who choose to cover all of their skin alike. I used to assume that all women who wore Hijabs were being oppressed, slut-shame, and look down on and judge any woman who didn’t express her sexuality in a way that I found appropriate.
I’d like to think I’m more open now.
"Tina: I’m ugly and nobody likes me…I’m not pretty in the least. You know I’m not.
Charlotte: Well, whoever wants that kind of prettiness, Tina? There’s something else you can have if you earn it. A kind of beauty.
Tina: What kind?
Charlotte: Something that has nothing to do with your face. A light shines from inside you because you’re a nice person. You think about it. Someday, you’ll know I’m right."
When I say I’m ugly, I’m dead serious. I’m not fishing for anyone’s compliments. That’s just how I really feel about myself. I think I’m “okay” looking though. But overall, I think I’m unattractive. There’s much more prettier and beautiful girls out there, that there’s too much that I can’t even count. Everything they do is better and cuter than what I do, even when they make silly faces or act stupid. I wish I was more attractive. I honestly wish I was one of those girls.
I’m listening. Virtual hug across the universe, wherever you are.
(Source: allison-janebaldos, via the-eleventh-blog)