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.
Because I’m really great at applying for jobs early and my dad’s antsy about me having too much free time, I ended up working for him all summer. It was four days a week for a few hours a day. I never did anything that felt like it was important—minor accounting, filing, data entry and ordering components—mostly, I was bored out of my gourd.
It’s been two weeks since my last day, and I’ve realized that I can do an office job and be successful. The organization and routine were comforting… but it was terribly draining. It wasn’t physically demanding, and I wasn’t unhappy doing it either, but the entire time I felt indifferent and completely dispassionate. It wasn’t intellectually stimulating or interesting, but I could make myself do it. And that’s nice to know.
The first is especially insulting and demeaning because it implies that women need to be told constantly that they’re beautiful so they’ll believe it, and that a woman’s only source of unhappiness lies in her apparently inevitable low self esteem. It also implies that it’s a woman’s job to look pretty all the time by smiling, while men have the privilege of not needing to smile, because it’s recognized that they have “problems”. That’s how it was described to me: Men have to worry about their jobs, their money, etc.
They both perpetuate the idea that a woman has to be beautiful. Tell me who said this: “I believe that all men are beautiful”. No one said that. Ever. The reason no one has ever said this is that men have the privilege of it being widely accepted that they are worth more than their appearance.
All women are NOT beautiful. But that’s okay, because women don’t HAVE to be beautiful. No one does.
Why can’t I be this articulate when I’m angry and flustered?
Someone asked my boyfriend’s grandpa if it was love at first sight when he met his wife. He replied, “No, she was drunk.”
I would never call you my favorite because that would mean you are comparable.