Darling, you came into this world crying, screaming, squirming, unashamed of movement, limbs reaching up and out towards the light, occupying as much space as you could. The moment you came into this world, you were here, and you would not let a single soul in that room ignore you.
When did society put a stop to that?
“What a pretty, quiet child.”
“Children should be seen, not heard.”
“Play with your dolls quietly.” Play inside. Stay inside. Away from the dirt and grass and trees and sun. It is the boys who play outside, who play in the mud and come in covered in dirt. And even inside, they fight and wrestle, and they’re loud and brash. And already, how old are you, but you scold them and tap your footand tell them to stop fighting, but you don’t join in, because girls do not get into messes. “Boys will be boys, but girls must stay clean and pretty.”
“Put a t-shirt over your tank top. Put these gym shorts over your shorts.” Cover up. Do not reveal skin. You are young yet, barely even touching puberty, but your skin is scandalous, and it must be covered. Dress code is for girls, education is for boys. They tell you not to distract boys with your young skin. They send you home because you refuse to cover up. Your comfort in the hot summer weather means nothing when it comes to the education of boys, even though they do a fine job of distracting themselves. But worse, what about the male teachers who will look at your skin? “You do not look decent. Do not dress like a whore, a slut” (in your tank top and shorts).
“What a prude.” And what can you say to that? Because if you confirm, then you are a prude, and they will all laugh. But if you deny it, then you are a slut, and they will all laugh. Society will sexualize you when you are young, too young to even understand what that really means, and as soon as you are old enough, they will shame you for being sexual. Society will not let you win.
Take back your space Darling.
Do not let them tell you what to play with, what to enjoy. Wrestle in the mud, play with Legos, learn computer science, be a woman in STEM. Wear tank tops and crop tops and shorts and skirts. Be as sexual as you want to be, and demand that they realize your pleasure is important too.
Do not let society quiet you. Keep talking when they interrupt you. Correct them when they try to invalidate you. Speak up, speak out. Be loud. Take every single silence and fill it with your words because your words matter. Do not sit closed-legged or crossed-legged because that is what is expected of you. Sit however you want, elbows and knees out, take back your space.
You came into this world screaming and fighting for your right to be here. You have every right to be here. Do not let them take that from you.
Run outside with the wolves that howl ever more loudly in your throat. Dig your toes into the dirt as Mother Nature intended, because it is Mother Nature, and you are every bit of her as anyone else. Throw your hands up to the sky and grasp handfuls of clouds because not even the sky could limit you. Your bones are made of stardust, and galaxies have collapsed and come together to make you what you are. Your blood may be iron, but your heart is forged steel, and no words will ever be able to pierce it. There is fire in your eyes and red on your lips, and nothing can take away your space.
Darling, you were born to fight. So fight.
Fight every bit of society that tells you to be quiet and hidden. Because you are so much more, and you have every right to tell the world. And if god forbid they try to silence you, Darling, you came into this world screaming, and you will not leave it any quieter.