To the men in my life:
Today I won't hold your hand and try to love on your fragile masculinity because you were not taught that you too can cry and still be man enough. That you can talk about your feelings and your metaphorical balls will remain in-tact. That you can treat women as equals and with respect without risking your entire existence. Today I will not try to gain your sympathy, because I do not want to need you today. Because yes, tu lucha es mi lucha, but today I am hurt. And today I cannot hold your hand, because today my hands only have room for my shattered heart.
Growing up, why was my clothing something that had to be approved by you? Why do you comment, without invitation, on my clothing and makeup? Who gave you that right, the liberty, to have anything to say about me? I think someone forgot to tell you that nothing of mine is for you. Why is my clothing suppose to be appropriate for my age, the event, other people, children, but never is it about what I want to wear on MY body.
Why was my virginity so important for measuring my worth? Why did a sliver of flesh undo or affirm my entire life's work and my importance as a partner? Why did it matter? To whom it did matter?
Why was I not allowed to stay out past certain times? Why was darkness MY enemy? There are women in certain traditions who salute the moon and become whole at night, but why did my cultura teaching me that I was going to be sexually assaulted because darkness called that out of men? No one should feel unsafe like that.
Why did you make me feel unsafe in my own body? Why did I have to have cuidado around my uncles and my cousins? Why did I have to feel like I was in danger? Why weren't these men told to not consume my adolescent body? Why was this not their problem? I was a kid, who was sexualized, and it was my duty to protect myself from it -- why?
Why do I get hassled whenever I go out? Why can't I go shopping, workout, and go to work without someone trying to get into my pants? Why is it that in my two recent jobs my co-workers said things to me like "tell me which conference room I can fuck you in?" and "just let me know when you want to go to the bathroom for a quickie"? Why was this okay? I am quick and intelligent, but somehow seen as a possible fuck instead? Why can't you all just leave me alone? I should be able to exist in spaces, and feel safe when carrying on with my regular routines!
Why are my looks more important than what comes out of my mouth? Why is it that when I speak, I am constantly hit on??? I WILL NOT CHANGE MY AESTHETICS BECAUSE PERVERTS REIGN, AND I WILL NOT LET MISOGYNY CONTROL WHAT I WEAR -- but I sure as hell will write about it.
Why is my intelligence a threat to you? Why is it that the more intelligent the man, the more threatened he is by my intelligence? Because smart men love smart women, till we prove to them that we are smarter than them. Then we are problem. The biggest jabs have come from men who said they fell in love with me because they loved my brain, but were quick to tear me down the minute I got too ahead of myself. The minute they began to understand that I was smarter, they felt I was insulting them. Why do I threaten you by fully realizing my goals and aspiration?
Why is that you'll sexualize me, reduce me to a body, instead of a mind. Why is sex, my sex, a tool of domination for you over me, and not something we can both enjoy? Why???? Why does everything that comes out of my mouth annoy you? Why do you call me a nag because I want honesty, loyalty, and open communication? Why do you prefer me quiet, dressed modestly, and subservient? When I extinguish my flame, you prefer me -- why?
Fuck you and fuck misogyny, and fuck all the things that you too are a victim of, because today I won't hold your hand and try to love on your fragile masculinity. Today I will not try to gain your sympathy, because I do not want to need you today. Today I cannot hold your hand, because today my hands only have room for my shattered heart.
To the men in my life: