24/03/2017

I am a woman - not your stereotype (Ashley Petallano)

I am a woman and there are some things you should know about me. Everyone has a right to speak their mind; here is mine and I hope it speaks to all.

I am a woman, not just a pretty face.
 Do not compare me to the beauty standards of this world. Some will be prettier than me. But that doesn’t give you the right to get me down because of my looks. There’s more to me than the size of my waistline or the contour of my cheeks.
Please don’t tell me I have to be pretty to get what I want. True, some women achieve more, but not because they’re more beautiful or sexier. Skills and smarts also play their parts.

I am a woman, not an emotional wreck.
 Sure, you do not understand me at times, but that doesn’t mean I’m always emotionally unstable. Do not judge me by my hormones; don’t ask me if I’m on my period whenever I feel down. That’s just plain rude.
Like you, I have my ups and downs. Admittedly, my body has partly something to do with it—I do go crazy because of the hormones. But don’t judge me because of it; don’t say “Ah, she’s so hormonal!” Instead, try to understand.
I’m not always emotionally strong, but neither am I often emotionally weak. Do not label me as too emotional just because you caught me crying.
I am a woman; I am not your toy. Do not take advantage of my emotions. When I choose to love you, know what I feel is genuine; therefore, I don’t deserve to be toyed with. You wouldn’t want that either, right?
My feelings were made to be treasured, not to be played. I’m not some Barbie or G.I. Joe that you take interest in today and leave whenever you feel like it. If you’re not going to take me seriously, don’t even bother.

I am a woman, not your “weaker sex.”
 Just because you are physically stronger, doesn’t mean I can’t do the things you can. I am more capable than you think. I don’t always play the damsel in distress card; in some occasions, I will save myself. Do not belittle me just because you think I am weak. In terms of skills and knowledge, I can do it too.
I am a woman, not your competition. For some reason, we have that innate competitive nature that gets the best of us. She has the better shade of lipstick, he’s smarter, she’s too catty for her own good, or he makes more money—the arguments are all the same. As a result, we claw each other to get to the top.
I am not your enemy; instead, I am your partner. If you keep looking at me as the competition, I will never be your friend. Everyone’s got their pros and cons; rather than tear me down, let’s build each other up.

I am a woman and I deserve respect
—we all do. There’s nothing wrong with praising a girl for her looks, but when you do so out of lust, I’d rather not hear your whistles or suggestive comments. You ask me, “Hey darling, why don’t you give us a smile, huh?” How can I smile when you undress me with your eyes?
I am responsible for what I wear, but still, you are responsible for your eyes. Please keep your hands from going anywhere without my consent. If your sister or your mother were in my place, you wouldn’t want the same thing for them—and neither for yourself.
I am a woman, not your stereotype. Do not put me in a box of adjectives nor within the limits of standards. Do not put labels on me because I am different—we all are. I am who I am.

I am just a woman—a proud one, at that.

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