My dad was watching women’s golf and I was sitting at the table doing homework. He pipes up, “Wow. It would be cool to visit all those places, but the environment would be just cutthroat. Women are nasty to each other.” And I was just like, “Why would you say that? It is possible for women to support other women.”
It was summer, so I cut my hair. Buzz cuts, it turns out, are really practical. They save a lot of time, and always look sharp. I didn’t really think about it beyond being pleased with my choice of haircut, and then getting on with my life. My mom didn’t care. My siblings didn’t care. My dad tried to be supportive. How? He pointed out a picture of a cancer survivor on a billboard and said, “Oh, look—there are people besides you who don’t have any hair, and they still look pretty good!” Three of my siblings have buzz cuts, and Dad’s never called them bald, or compared them to anyone who lost their hair to chemo. He couldn’t understand why I was angry with him. “Gee, thanks, Dad,” I said. “You know, there are LOADS of people in the world who have buzz cuts and AREN’T recovering from a serious illness! You couldn’t have compared me to one of them?” Yes, I used capslock in verbal speech. I was that ticked. He was hurt. I was never very good with emotion, but I guess he was genuinely trying to be nice, and when I got angry instead of being happy and loving him more or whatever it was he was expecting, it hurt. I tried to fix things by explaining to him that a haircut, for Pete’s sake, doesn’t need his support. I mean, he wanted to do something I’d like, right? That’s not a bad thing. It’s just that he got it all wrong and insulted me instead, so if I could just get him to not do that anymore we’d both be happy, right? Only he got all emotional, and started crying, and… well, I don’t know what to do when people cry. It was really uncomfortable. In the end, I just sort of told him it was okay, I knew he hadn’t meant to insult me or anything, and I still loved him and all that, and he sort of nodded and left to get a handle on himself. Then there was the watchmaker I’m apprenticed to. I swear, it’s just a stupid haircut. I mean, it’s a great haircut, but it’s, you know, MY haircut. I got it because I like it. Lots of other people do the same thing, even people in my own family. It’s not a big deal. It’s really, honestly, not. I mean, what is this, the Twilight Zone or something? Anyway, the watchmaker’s in his nineties, and he’s a pretty okay guy except his mind wanders sometimes, so you’ll be getting a lesson on staffing or whatever and then all of a sudden you get a war story (which is pretty cool, actually). He said—and I’m having trouble believing this even as I’m typing it—he said, “How could you do this to me?” To him? I’m—wha— How is my haircut something that happened to him? He actually threatened to hit me. Repeatedly. Like, over and over throughout the lesson (and next week’s lesson, and the lesson the week after that, a little bit less each time, until finally he sort of accepted it, I guess, or gave up, anyway). “I ought to hit you,” he’d say, or “If you were a boy, I’d punch you,” or “I just want to lay you out flat.” It’s a haircut. A haircut, for crying out loud. Lots of people get haircuts. Sure, buzz cuts are more a guy thing, but I’m agender. In a society where EVERYTHING’S gendered, why shouldn’t I just pick what I like? I didn’t know you needed a third leg to cut your hair. Guess I know now….
Today I received an unprovoked email from my brother addressed to my sister and me and sent to the whole family where he declares he is cutting all ties with us because we are “infected by the cancer that is feminism” and “hate every male [we] meet.” I am happily married to a man and the majority of my friends happen to be (feminist) men. He goes on to blame our feminist behavior on our parents for having raised “bad kids.” The saddest part: my brother has two young daughters.
My brother, who I need to say, I love very much, constantly reminds me about something I don’t need to do. If my family is going out, he will come into my bedroom and tell me that I have, lets say 15 minutes to get ready. And that hopefully that is enough time. I am 14, I am capable of getting ready to go out to dinner in less than fifteen minutes. I don’t need to impress anyone, so why do people expect that a girl always needs an hour to get ready? My aunts don’t help the situation either. One of them who was visiting, had me help her with looking after her grandkids, my second cousins. I was helping my little cousin out of the swimming pool at the hotel they were staying at and when I get up and head over to the chairs where all of our stuff is, she looks at me and says “You have an amazing figure. I’ll be willing to bet that you have all of the guys at your disposal. Like what am I? A self absorbed, girly girl who likes dressing up in heels? No, I am an athletic girl who loves books more than clothing. A girl who story plots to pushing up my breasts. But nobody seems to understand. This is why I decided to put this on the site. I am fed-up of getting called a ‘bimbo’ and other names that make me want to scream.
When I was 9, my older brother abused me. I was in the couch he just sat next to me and touch me, that was the first time. He did it like 4 times. I forgot about it since I was little but out of nowhere I remembered after watching a movie. Now I feel hate towards him. I have 17 now and he has 25. I have been crying everday I feel sad, like he took something from me and I feel used. I meant to tell my mom but she isn’t going to believe me and I will be so humiliated. My life is hell right now.
When I was nine years old I fell asleep in a car with my uncle and his two daughters,I happened to be next to my uncle and he groped me and touched my butt. I immediately separated from him and he acted as if anything ever happened,stepping out of the car I was so sure I was going to be able to tell my mom but I just couldn’t I froze cause at the end of the day it was a childs word against a grown man’s word. It’s been 10 years and I haven’t been able to say it to my mom and I have just started to share this story so it can stop choking me at nights.
I’m a bookworm, and anyone who knows me knows this fact, but this Hanukkah I was very disappointed with my presents. I got clothes and money from my relatives. My male cousin who is nowhere near as much of a reader? Almost all his presents were books. Gee, thanks relatives, I really wanted CLOTHES that you all picked out, meaning stuff I never wear. Seriously, all you had to do is ask my mom what I like, you’re relatives. Or just give me the goddamn money, if you really don’t understand my tastes. I would have loved to get those books 🙁
I told my father in law that when my husband and I have children, the plan is for him to my husband be a stay at home Dad, and for me to return to work full time. He laughed in my face, and said “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
How hard is it to find a new babies card that is plural, neutral or mixed gender?! My mom recently gave birth to triplets (YAY), two girls and a boy. I had to settle on a card that said something along the lines of ‘your little ones have arrived’ with a sunshine on it.
So, imagine my horror when my fairly-new-boyfriend announces to his (older-than-us) female relatives on our first meeting that I’m “not planning on changing my surname” if I get married. It’s true, but that’s not something you traditionally trot out the first time you introduce someone to your siblings/family… Check first sexism issue: mine, not theirs. They were all pretty relaxed about the idea. I was mortified that it had been mentioned. Skip back to me as a teen. I’m the oldest of several (all girls except for the youngest) and very independent. My father and I were having a chat and he mentioned that he was a bit rueful that only my brother would pass on the family name. My response was “what makes you think I’m ever going to change my name?” My father looked surprised but pleasently so. Nothing was ever really said about it again. I don’t think it needed to be. Several years later I then get engaged to the same boyfriend. The same female members of his family suddenly start taking about how I’ll need to practice my new signature. I try to remind them that I’m not changing my surname and they all ignore me and talk over me…