Eve Ensler, a badass feminist, wrote a book titled “I am an Emotional Creature” (which if you haven’t read, you totally should) and it has changed my life. As if I wasn’t already feminist enough, this book, filled with stories of women across the world, has made me realize that girl power is essential and means more than the saying ‘girls rule, boys drool.’ At the end of the book, Ensler has a manifesta for young women and it is phenomenal.
Manifesta to Young Women and Girls
“HERE’S WHAT YOU WILL BE TOLD:
Find a man
The world is scary
Don’t go out
You are weak
Don’t care so much
They’re only animals
Don’t be so intense
Don’t cry so much
You can’t trust anyone
Don’t talk to strangers
People will take advantage of you
Close your legs
Girls aren’t good with:
Making difficult decisions
Putting things together
Being in charge.
If he rapes you, surrender,
you will get killed trying to defend yourself
Don’t travel alone
You are nothing without a man
Don’t make the first move,
wait for him to notice you
Don’t be too loud
Follow the crowd
Obey the laws
Don’t know too much
Tone it down
Find someone rich
It’s how you look that matters,
not what you think.
HERE’S WHAT I’M TELLING YOU:
Everyone’s making everything up
There is no one in charge except for those
who pretend to be
No one is coming
No one is going to
Mind-read your needs
Know your body better than you
Always fight back
Ask for it
Say you want it
Cherish your solitude
Take trains by yourself to places
you’ve never been
Sleep out alone under the stars
Learn how to drive a stick shift
Go so far away that you stop being afraid of
not coming back
Say no when you don’t want to do something
Say yes if your instincts are strong
even if everyone around you disagrees
Decide whether you want to be liked or admired
Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out
what you’re doing here
Believe in kissing
Fight for tenderness
Care as much as you do
Cry as much as you want
Insist the world be theater
and love the drama
Take your time
Move as fast as you do
as long as it’s your speed.
Ask yourself these questions:
Why am I whispering when I have something to say?
Why am I adding a question mark at the end
of all my sentences?
Why am I apologizing every time I express my needs?
Why am I hunching over?
Starving myself when I love food?
Pretending it doesn’t mean that much to me?
Hurting myself when I mean to scream?
Why am I waiting
You know the truth:
Sometimes it does hurt that much
Horses can feel love
Your mother wanted more than that
It’s easier to be mean than smart
But that isn’t who you are.”
This is the most empowering piece of text I have ever read. Women, please know that you CAN do things by yourself. You can go eat alone, you can shop alone, you can sleep alone, you can say no to sex, you can do whatever you want. Please, use that power. Women are powerful creatures. We feel things so deeply. We express our feelings differently. We handle things differently. Women are powerful. Maya Angelou, Anne Frank, Mother Teresa, these are all women who have impacted the world. Those are just three of the most inspiring and world-changing women on the list. Madonna said something that sums up what being a woman in a professional environment feels like. “I’m tough, I’m ambitious, and I know exactly what I want. If that makes me a bitch, okay,” Madonna said this in 1958. If people, women or men, are going to consider me a bitch because I know what I want and I’m crazy enough to think I can achieve that, then please be my guest and refer to me as a bitch. In that sense of the word, I will gladly accept the bitch title.
Being a woman is important, even if I do complain when I have my period. Periods do suck. It sucks to have my emotions pushed aside a week out of every month and have them referred to as PMS. My feelings are always validated, whether I am on my period or not.
Women, if you don’t want to shave your legs, don’t. If you don’t want to wear makeup, don’t. Guys, nine times out of ten, girls wear makeup and dress cute for themselves. We aren’t trying to impress you by wearing the latest fashions or by showing off our new Naked pallette on our eyelids.
I just wish that I could impact women in a way that Eve Ensler has impacted my life through her readings and quotes.
Women, we are all powerful and important. Use that. Remember that. Embrace that. Walk with your head held high knowing that you are a woman and are living the legacy of every single female before and after you.
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” -The Help