I don't normally speak out about political or social issues through my business. I don't post about them on my personal social media pages. I am usually the agree to disagree type. I am not easily offended about other people's political, personal, religious beliefs.
But lately I feel extremely drained, hurt, and angry. And scared. I am scared because I have an almost 7 year old daughter who is funny and sensitive and one of the most tender hearted people I know. I am scared because this past weekend I hung out with a group of hilarious and bright teenage girls. And I know what they will have to face. It breaks my heart to think of the situations they will inevitably be placed in. It tears me apart to think about anyone ever making them feel that they are worthless… or really only worth one thing.
Sometimes, even though these are my stories, I am shocked that they are real.
Because coming to your house does mean I am going to spend the night. If I forcefully push your hands away and say "stop". It does not mean "hey try that again! I might change my mind."
I remember a year or so ago being out to dinner with my boyfriend at the time. We were eating at the bar and it was close to 9. Another man down the bar came over and asked "How much to take her home?" to this day I am slightly upset that I didn't let my boyfriend kick his ass.The amount of times I have gotten a text or a snap asking for "a picture" is appalling.
The fact that guys ask me what kind of underwear I have on before they ask me what my interests and hobbies are is disgusting.
The fact that guys grab my ass without even knowing my name or lets be honest before even SPEAKING to me makes my skin crawl.
And you might say "Hey Chloe. You are meeting these guys in the wrong places!" well let me tell you… these guys… yes the stories mentioned above.. are guys I have met through friends, at weddings, at concerts, and yes… even at church. And even the ones that I have met while working at a bar or while out with my friends do not have the right to treat me in such way. I should be able to leave my house without fear of being verbally and physically harassed no matter where I am.
You also might say "Well watch what you wear, say, your body language." Really? Watch what I wear? Have you met me? My "fancy" means throwing earrings and my leather jacket on with my torn up chucks and blue jeans. Not exactly throwing out the vibes people. I also should not have to censor the way I carry myself. Sometimes I laugh loud. Sometimes I touch peoples arms when I speak to them. Sometimes I get goofy and break out my "tricks" like licking my elbow or whipping my hair really fast or walking on the tops of my feet. None of those things mean anyone is "allowed" to treat me in a certain way.
Many people (read: men) have heard these stories and told me "You should take it as a compliment!" Yes. You read that right. Are you kidding me? What. The. Hell. What part of those stories, what part of the disgusting things men have said to me, is a compliment? Because to me it isn't a compliment. They were not trying to make ME feel good. I know that for a fact. They were not trying to compliment me. They actually believe they can say whatever, do whatever, they want to me regardless of the way it makes me feel. And none of it felt good. Let me tell you how it felt.
It felt like my only value is determined by my looks, my body, my sex. It was rude. It was embarrassing. It pissed me off.
I do not care if I have known you my whole life or for one week.
I do not care if you bought me one drink or ten.
I do not care if I laugh at all your jokes.
I do not care if I let you hold my hand.
I do not care if I let you kiss me.
I do not care if I gave you my number or took yours.
I do not care if I agreed to have coffee, a drink, or dinner with you.
I do not care if I am dressed up or in leggings.
None of these situations means that you are in any way entitled to my body. If I say no it means no. You have "earned" nothing. I am not being coy. I am not playing hard to get. I am not being a tease. I am not trying to make you "chase me". I am simply saying NO.
You are beautiful. Not because of your body but because of your mind, your heart, and your soul.
You are interesting. The thoughts, ideas, and dreams you have are interesting and valuable.
You have worth beyond measure.
Your body is not here for anyone's validation but yours. So eat what you want, wear what you want, workout when you want and own it!
If you want to say no, say no. This applies to everything in life. Men, careers, friends, family. If it isn't right for you. If it isn't a healthy decisions. If your gut, your heart, your head is screaming no, then girl you had better say "NO!"
When you say no. When you have higher expectations for yourself and the way others treat you, there will be backlash. Believe me. When you stand up and say "I'm worth more than that." or a simple but firm "No." you won't get off easy. I have been called bitch, tease, cunt, whore and even given the silent treatment for the remainder of dates. And the list isn't limited to that. But when that happens cling to the fact that you are worth more. Because that's the truth. The rest is just noise.
I understand that this was mostly just me ranting. I guess my hope is that maybe if we talk about this more. Maybe if every woman stands up and says "This is not ok. I will not be treated this way." and all the good guys out there (because I know you're out there! Shout out to all the stand up men I know!!) say "This is not ok. I won't let other men treat women this way." maybe things will start to change. Damn. I hope things start to change.
I hope this makes you uncomfortable. Because it definitely makes me uncomfortable.