This is Why I Need Feminism

I was 5: and I had a tendency to sit with my legs spread wide because it was comfortable. My grandma told my mom that “she’d better teach me not to do that by the time I was older because it sent out a message to people.”

 

I was 7: and I was the only girl on my soccer team. It didn’t matter how good I was. The boys still laughed and told me I was stupid. They told me girls weren’t fit for sports.

 

I was 8: and four boys cornered me during my brother’s soccer game. Two of them held my arms while the other two pulled my hair and tried groping my chest even though nothing was there yet. They poured red kool-aid all over me when I bit one of the boys. None of the passerbys even spared me a glance.

 

I was 10: and my guy friends made fun of me being in ballet. It was then that I was convinced that being “girly” was a bad thing. So it was then that I quit and gave up anything that made me seem like a “girly-girl.”

 

I was 11: and the boys on my soccer team made jokes about me because I was a girl even though I’d been on the team for four years. It was then that they told me that because I was ugly I would never amount to anything.

 

I was 12: and an older boy made several crude comments about my carpets matched the drapes. I was also 12 when a boy on my brother’s football team began to stalk me. He knew we didn’t lock our doors a night and the color of my wallpaper. I was 12 when he started telling everyone the nasty things he wanted to do to me. The other boys joined in too.

 

I was 13: and a boy began to manipulate me to get answers out of me that I didn’t want to tell him. He had me convinced that boys were superior to girls. He didn’t understand no.

 

It was July 2011: and the same boy had me competing for his attention. He told me the other girl was “winning” because she let him feel her up. I wouldn’t put out so I “lost.”

 

It was August 2011: and I told him I wasn’t going to do anything other than kiss or hold hands. He freaked out and told me that he deserved to have more after all he had done for me. It was August when I left.

 

I was 14: and the same boy talked about what a teasing prude I was. The whole town made jokes about me. Boys called me scum for not putting out.

 

It was November 2011: and that boy came back, all friendly and manipulative. Soon he had me believing that he left me and he had come back to give me a second chance. He got me to starts sexting him to “repay him for his grace.”

 

It was December 2011: and I tried to stop because things were going too far. He was mad any day that I couldn’t “help him out.” He told me he would leave me if I did. He had me convinced that because I was a girl I was awful and didn’t have a choice.

 

It was April 1st, 2012: and he shoved his hands in my shirt before he even kissed me. My first kiss wasn’t as great as I thought. He drove me home that night. He parked on the side of the road and wouldn’t go again until I let him take off my shirt.

 

It was April 10th, 2012: and he cornered me and kept pushing for more. That night he convinced me to ask him out. He wouldn’t ask me because he thought he deserved to be the one asked for all he had done for me.

 

It was June 2012: and he left me because I wasn’t giving him enough. He still wanted me to sext him though, because that was the only way he would ever like me again.

 

I was 15: and he came back. Saying I could have a second chance for being such a good girl, but now I wasn’t allowed to hug anyone but him. I couldn’t talk to any boys but him. Because I was a girl, I was dirty and couldn’t be trusted.

 

It was November 2012: and he told me he didn’t love me anymore, so he broke up with me again. He said might be able to get his feelings though if I kept doing stuff with him. Then he told me he would leave me if I said no when he asked for sex. One day he asked. He blamed me when he felt guilty about it.

 

It was New Year’s Eve 2012: and I was cornered by an extremely drunk man at a ski area. He pressed himself against me. Nothing happened. I shoved him away and walked home, but the boy still said I was asking for it. I was wearing ski pants and multiple layers of clothing and a big winter coat. Still, it was my fault. The boy left for good.

I am 16: and this past year and a half I’ve been through another ex-boyfriend using me for my body. I’ve been through people calling me a slut and whore because I’ve slept with someone. I have people chasing after me for sex, and not for my personality. I’ve been pushed around because I’m a girl. I’m 16, and now, my ex-boyfriend’s younger brother, a good friend of mine, started asking me for sex. He wouldn’t listen to no. He told me to stop being so uptight and began begging. The fact that his dog understands no, in English and in sign language, and still understands it better than he does is disturbing. 16 years, and too much has happened to me because of my gender.

The fact that I thought this was “normal” until now sickens me. How far has our society sunk? I haven’t been through terrible things, but this still isn’t okay. This is why I need feminism.

Bethany

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