Jenny @jennyclower ?active 1 year, 12 months ago
• One thing I have come to terms with is this; people that work with me, and therefore have to be around me for 8+ hours a day/ 5 days a week, have no clue what to do with me. I work in an office that is predominately 30-40 year old married men and older ladies. Being a 21 year old female, 80% of my coworkers automatically deem me a she-devil. This isn’t to say that all women are insecure and I definitely wouldn’t say I am physically more attractive than any other woman I come in contact with, because I would be lying to myself and then I would have to start trying harder. It’s just that as as women, we often judge each other. I’m not trying to beat around the (your) bush, I am a lot younger than most of the women I work for/with. My tummy has never been tucked and I have smooth skin minus the occasional just-ending-adolescence breakout. I don’t personally think that this makes me any more attractive than older women. In fact I think that women who have had children and jobs for more than a year that own houses and men are indescribably beautiful and I often have inferiority complexes when I am around them. If we take a look at this month’s edition of Cosmopolitan, however, you will find that the articles are aimed at getting women in their 30’s to hate themselves so they will buy some wrinkle cream and diet pills before desperately trying to look like an androgynous 17 year old. So as a woman without wrinkles or voluptuous baby-nurturing boobies, I obviously have a lot of time to dissect pointless theories like this one; whether or not we do it on purpose, we are constantly using our own insecurities to find fault with other women’s physical appearance. When I let down my guard however and showed them that I am not the type to play hanky panky in the supply closet with the CEO, they actually started to feel a little bad for me, and then like me in an “I’m going to help you become a lady” type of way.
One lady is constantly trying to give me her daughters hand me down baby prostitute clothes in an effort to soften my Sam Ronson esque homeless vibe. I played dumb when she asked me if I have heard of the clothing brand “Bebe” thinking it would stop her from unintentionally lowering my self-esteem. Let’s be real, who hasn’t fucking heard of Bebe? I mean, she is a decade too late but I’m no dummy. Her actual quote was “My daughter gave me a shirt that doesn’t fit me, I was going to bring it in for you but I am not sure if you like the color pink.”
Let me give you a little bit of background on this subject, not that it will make a difference to you or the rest of your day. In fact you will probably read this, or if you are like the majority of people, not read this and then think “Hmm, that was relatively worthless”, but I have a feeling there are other girls out there that have gone through this exact situation; especially in the workplace. For the most part, women that work in a male dominated office normally go straight for the “fuck me pumps” type of clothing. Or the “I’m not trying to be a threat to your wife when she comes to bring you your low-cholesterol turkey sandwich and makes sure there isn’t a Carl’s Jr. wrapper/used condom in your trashcan.” When working with married men, a lot of stone cold foxes (see also; butterface minus a traditionally well put together body) like myself often feel pressured to put off a vibe that says it’s okay to like me, I have no interest in fucking your husband. Unless, of course, I am going to try and fuck your husband. So when a complete train wreck like me walks in, who is totally unsure if she wants to keep dressing like a Skrillex fan, or go with the more feminine Mossimo by Target look, it throws everyone through a loop.
Let me explain my style to you. There isn’t any there at all. One day I will walk in wearing an oversized, striped sweater that looks like I bought it at Tony Hawk’s garage sale, some plain jeans that look like, and probably haven’t been, washed any time in the last couple weeks and running shoes like I am some middle aged mom that gave up on herself after finding her husband masturbating to a picture of Matthew mcConaughey. The next day I’ll wear a blue flowery dress with a jean jacket and boots. I mean, it doesn’t even make any sense. I sort of just throw on whatever seems more convenient at the time. Occasionally I will get a wild hair up my ass and pluck my eyebrows to appear like I can actually take care of myself, but for the most part I am blindly weaving myself through ideas of what I should look like as a woman and what I am comfortable wearing. I have a collection of heels in my closet that I will only break out when I am trying to give my boyfriend a boner, which I could pretty much do anyway just by casually brushing his elbow by accident. Most of the time, however, I end up feeling like a moron when I spring for a new $20 dollar stick of eyeliner. At the end of the day, I still don’t have any interest in watching Sex and the City.
I guess my main point in writing this is to say that 1) if you have never worn high heels before, it isn’t wise to jump straight to the kind that have a heel as big as John Holmes’ dick. 2) It’s always a safer bet to just be yourself.
I am totally new to this thing. I guess you could say that I am new to Feminism as well. Let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am 21 years old and I am in school for Human Services. I had a male teacher last year for a Drug and Alcohol class that totally enlightened me to the world of feminism. He was one of our school’s only teachers that taught classes like Victimology and Self Esteem Strategies, which after taking one of his classes I am definitely taking those classes with him next semester. When talking about Society’s views on drug addiction and alcoholism he made it a point to bring up things like rape, molestation, eating disorders, and other subjects that are just coming to light as something that men suffer from as well, but historically have been centered around women.
Thinking back to my early years I have always been sort of proud to be a woman. I developed my gender identity in a very free-spirited way. I played with Tonka trucks and I got my clothes dirty as well as skinning my knees after leaping from a tree pretending I was Tarzan. I played “cops and robbers” with the neighborhood kids and always insisted that I was a cowGIRL when playing “cowboys and indians”. Then I would go inside and play with my easy bake oven while wearing one of my various Disney princess dresses. I never thought of things being gender specific, and I didn’t really grow up in a home that defined “gender roles”. We were free to be whoever we wanted, really. My personality fit almost perfectly into that of Scout from “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
As I grew up, and discovered the world of boys and training bras, I started to feel embarrassed about the way my face was filling out or the fact that I now had these things called “hips” to factor into the equation. I remember the uneasiness that I felt inside when I was first leered at by a male that, just a few short years earlier, had rubbed dirt in my face while playing “wrestlemania”. I remember him asking if he could “touch my butt” and telling him “NO” in a loud and aggressive manner. This was a lesson that I undoubtedly learned from my older sister who, when she was in the 6th grade had punched a boy in the face for touching her butt. While I was too young at that point to remember the actual event, I remember my parents recalling it when I got to that age and how my dad marched out of the principal’s office after she was suspended with the biggest grin on his face, or how my mother high fived her when she got home.
During Junior High I discovered things like alcohol and marijuana and parties and I immediately fell into that lifestyle. I soon found myself in the grips of the early stages of what would later become an enduring and ferocious drug addiction. To keep it short, I started to lose my identity and my beautiful childlike innocence. I did things like sneak out of the house to meet boys and drink whatever we could steal from our parent’s liquor cabinet. This was the beginning of me discovering my sexuality, and unfortunately I did that in an intoxicated and depression-riddled state of mind.
My best friend was dating a guy at that time who fell into the stereotypical “attractive popular male” category. The one that bounced from girl to girl with an ease and comfort that was pretty typical for the Junior High dating scene. One night over the weekend me and this particular male found ourselves in each other’s company without my best friend. Another friend of ours had invited us, as well as others, over to drink with her over the weekend. As I commonly did in the presence of alcohol, I drank beyond the point of being able to remember a thing. I had passed out in her room about an hour after hogging a bottle of vodka. I woke up the next morning in a pool of my own vomit on the floor of my friends bedroom. It was then that she told me what had happened. After I had passed out, my best friends boyfriend “had sex” with me. I asked her if I had hooked up with him before I passed out or if it looked like we were flirting with each other, not fully understanding why that would of happened. Thinking maybe I brought it on myself by giving him the wrong message. After all, my perception of the night was obviously skewed. She recounted what had happened with a nonchalance that I interpreted to mean it was all perfectly normal. Before I knew it, rumor of my indiscretion hit the streets. I brushed it off the best I could, no matter how big that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach got. Internally, I knew that what had happened to me was wrong. I just didn’t know exactly why. I hadn’t learned much about rape. I thought surely because I was drunk that I brought it on myself. It wasn’t until my best friend called me, begging me to tell her that it wasn’t true, that I would “never do that to her and betray her trust,” that I felt the weight of what had happened. As she hurled insults at me over the phone I started to feel what I would later find out is pretty common for girls in my situation. I was dirty. I was not worth love and I was now not only a bad friend but I was a bad person. How could I do that to her? How could I let my guard down and allow her boyfriend to take advantage of me when I was unconscious? In my adolescent mind I did not see the preposterous ideology with that way of thinking. All I knew was that what happened was my fault and I was now officially a “slut”.
Consequently, I proceeded into High School continually finding myself in situations similar to the one I just described. I had the self esteem of a rock and began to define myself in terms of what boys told me. My quest to define my sexuality continued in a strayed and abnormal course. I left my self image up to what people thought about me. I was who my peers deemed me to be. I didn’t tell any adult what had happened and I hid my traumas and my resulting depression from the sight of my parents. I relied on children my age to provide knowledge that they didn’t have either. I watched the pretty, worthwhile, funny and strong little girl I started out to be turn into a “monster” and what I found between my legs was the very reason why I was bad.
I eventually dropped out of high school before ending up in an adolescent treatment center for drug and alcohol addiction. I now have 4 years of complete sobriety. When I look back at my story I feel a sense of pride where disgust and shame used to live. I am well on my way to being a woman of self esteem with endless amounts of love and experience to share. Which is why I started this account. I wanted to share with other women who have found themselves looking in the mirror thinking “I am dirty because of what someone else did to me.” These are thoughts that have been engrained in my head during adolescence and my reason for going through those situations, I am finding, is to share it with girls and to help keep them educated about things like rape, victim blaming, and self esteem in general. I am now able to go to school and receive an education regarding things of this nature. The more I learn, the more I feel empowered and the more information I am able to share with the powerful young women I am surrounded by every day.