My Body Belongs To Me

1:17 PM




When my now twelve year old was in late kindergarten her school ran a program for the kids regarding body autonomy.
For her age group it was mostly focused on keeping your hands to yourself, making a list of trusted adults and a little bit about unwelcome and uncomfortable touching from others. They taught them this poem.

My body belongs to me
From my head to my toes
I say what goes
My body belongs to me

It was perfect and we have referred back to it over the years and found it to be a useful tool. 

Now as teenage years are upon us (god help me) and she begins to explore some independence this poem has again been on my mind. It is empowering but it also flies in the face of the message our culture delivers daily.

In the blink of an eye my little girl will be a woman. 

Her body will become a commodity, a measure of her success and value. No matter her other achievements she will constantly be judged more by her shape, the size of her breasts and how she chooses to dress than the contents of her heart and mind. 


Image via Pinterest


She may decide that her body is wrong, her thighs are too wide and her face too ugly to really be successful in her chosen field. If she believes this it may become her reality as it has for countless women before her. She may shrink inside herself, do her best to take up less space. Tell herself to be satisfied with less.

She will receive unwanted attention from men so often her head will spin, and then she may even grow accustomed to it. Take it for granted. Treat it as just one of those things.

She may learn to give out a fake number rather than reject a man's advances, to tamp down her opinions and appetite to seem more appealing to the opposite sex. She will learn to walk the streets with a heightened level of awareness, to be careful on public transport and probably even to watch her back in the workplace.
She will have to refuse drinks from someone of the opposite sex to avoid being discovered behind a dumpster unconscious. 


Image via Pinterest


This is life as a woman. 

Though I am and will continue to teach her to fight tooth and nail and be strong in the face of sexism, I must also teach her the truth and to take care.


On the eve of the Women's March as a pussy-grabbing moron is about to take power of our neighbouring country I feel the need to express my rage. My disappointment. Growing up I thought things would be better, that we would have narrowed the gap. Beyond notions of equality and shattering glass ceilings the bottom line is that women are still not safe.
As a parent of a future woman this one fact makes my blood boil the hottest.

This is why we march. 


Image via Pinterest

Anyone who continues to question the need for feminism needs a swift punch. In the face. 

With a chair.

It may just be my daughter and her friends who deliver it. They can use any damn chair in the house as long as they leave one for me.

I will be right behind them.


Image via Pinterest

You Might Also Like

0 comments