Let me break the ice by saying that though I was born in the Dominican Republic,
I was raised in Aruba and I grew up between the blue’s of not belonging enough.
Both Aruba and the Dominican Republic share some of the same struggles.
One of these being the never ending toxic masculinity and patriarchal systems that clouds most of the continent America.
I was conditioned to think that the more of myself I gave to a boy, the less of a remarkable girl I’d become.
So my early teens were spent trying to not speak about any encounter
I might have had with a boy that was remotely sexual. It didn’t matter how secretly it happened though,
the shame of sharing my body with a boy always found me.
Surprisingly, what was always clear as day was that I am the only one that is to be held responsible for the way men treat me.
It was my job to dress decently, to speak softly, to serve, be loving, and always cautious.
It wasn’t until my late teens that I became familiar with philosophies such as feminism, womanism and more.
Once I did there was absolute no turning back and I carefully started to examine the way men would treat me, trying to find exactly how much of it could possibly
be my fault. Just to clear up some smoke, let me mention that I am sexually fluid and
hold no interest in having a relationship with anyone. However, these are not things I write on my forehead when I step outside of my room.
Out of own preference and because it is also extremely cold in this country I don’t wear little clothes. That doesn’t save me.
You can be covered from head to toe, trust me, the lust in their eyes will find you.
If it grants me any type of credibility. then let me go all in and say that I am 22, childless and in college, a good girl by social standards.
But here’s the catch, that doesn’t save me from being treated recklessly by men either.
And it is about time we have healthy discussions about how race, social-economical background and age change the way men treat women.
At the end of the day, what I want young girls to understand is that it is not your fault.
You don’t step out of your house asking to be harassed.
You have done nothing but exist in a body that has been overly sexualized for centuries before you even arrived on this plannet.
It took them ages to built a system that oppressed us and kept us down so greatly.
It will take us ages to deconstruct it. But I have faith in all of us.
Men are supposed to haunt us down, have a lot of sex but we aren’t.
So if men are supposed to have a lot of sex and we aren’t, who are they supposed to have all the sex with? Sexual freedom is a right. Embrace your sexuality, live for your own pleasure. So don’t fear terms such as ‘hoe, slut, whore, bitch’ etc.
There’s a 100% chance you’ll be called those anyway whether you’re a virgin or haven’t seen a penis since the last sabbath.
It is not your job to build a man up, it is not your job to teach him how to treat you or to give him something to respect.
You are a human being, you have feelings and needs and desires too. That’s enough of a reason, bottom line period.