Ana G. Valdes
When I was a little girl, my mother told me to close my legs and to put some pants on because there were men in the room. When I was 12 years old I figured out why my mom always told me that. The first time I got “sl*t shamed” was from a family member of mine when I was 13, when I was wearing a shirt that showed my belly button. It was 96 degrees outside. The second time was from a random old lady, this time I was wearing a skirt. I wondered to myself why these old women and men were criticizing my body, even though I was still a child. I thought wearing what made me feel comfortable was normal. I didn’t understand why people decided to talk about a child’s body sexually and just shame them for it.
As I grew up, I started to educate myself about feminism and the pressures on women to look a certain way and have my own opinions. My family said I was out of my mind and they didn’t take my opinions and discussions seriously. This made me feel hurt. I still quite despise them to this day. They made me feel stupid for the topics i wanted to speak open about, and when i disagreed to their opinions, it was gonna be a mess. One of the things I despised even more was when the clothes I was wearing were being sexualised. Even by my own parents. Getting told what to wear, what to say and how to act like a lady is something I encounter all the time. For example, there’s a phrase that my mom says in Spanish, “calladita se mira mas bonita ”, it means “shut up and you’ll look prettier”. I’ve been told the exact same thing from others and unfortunately it’s from the same community I’m part of. This sentence is delivered with nothing but hatred and internalized misogyny. You know the reason why I was told this is because I spoke up against a man and told him he was wrong, it’s because I talked, it’s because I had an “outspoken personality”, it’s probably due to the fact that its because I am a woman. And women aren’t supposed to speak, they are supposed to shut up and stay pretty. And if you don’t, you’ll get called a “grosera, maleducada” . Oh and when you call them out, they’ll call you crazy, make themselves the victims, maybe even gaslight you. The reason why I talk is because I have a mouth to speak with and not silence myself.
As women, our bodies and what we do with them are more controlled than gun control in the US. White men who are at the verge of rotting and getting buried 6 feet underground are in control of others’ bodies, when in reality they really shouldn’t be. The definition of a “slut” was man-made to degrade women and girls. The term is now reclaimed by empowering women and young girls over their appearance and sexuality to make them comfortable in their own skin. God believes in choice and he would love me even if I was slut, because god loves everyone and he made me the way I am, so my apologies, if my 36 B cup bra is bothering you and your husband.
My body is not owned by anybody but myself. My body is not a relation to government property, It is not made up by laws and rules by the government, it’s mine and it’s my future.