Stacey Olson.JPG

From the small age of 11, I remember being objectified in a sexual manner. I started filling out and stepping into a more mature body earlier than some of my peers and that changed the way I navigated the world for the rest of my life. I’d be told many times that what I was wearing was inappropriate or distracting despite my other female and male counterparts wearing the same things.  

As I grew older, the once so subtle objectification became more prominent. Being told I had the body for back blows or how I’d have men at least twice my age approach my friends and me offering money in exchange for some part of ourselves; for a dance, for our time, for our bodies.  

I spent most of my life being bombarded with warnings of men; beware the man you least suspect, or always carry something to defend yourself, or never take your eyes off your drink, or even, never sink into a routine that would make it easier for someone to stalk you. 

Living in a man’s world, fighting with this boys’ club is troublesome and tiring. Fighting each and every day to not allow my femininity to be an obstacle. I’ve exhausted many tactics like downplaying my more “girly” traits because if I eliminate what others believe to be feminine I will no longer be threatened. This did not work. Neither did coming more into myself as I approached being a grown woman.  

The further I became myself and more comfortable I was with that woman, the more men perceived me as some kind of threat.  

Many women like myself and I have pushed and worked hard to feel safer and thrive in the same ways as men do. Yet, we are constantly forced through obstacles that are honestly idiotic. When I am taking my time to be cautious and careful with my safety I should not have to endure a man’s aggression and arguments that it’s ‘not all men.’ Because guess what, Trevor, it’s not about all men, it’s about all of us women not being able to distinguish the poisoned apples from the Prince Charmings. It’s because sexual assaults by a stranger only account for 7% of cases, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.  

Our own government doesn’t give a fuck about us at times. We have states where a fetus has more body autonomy than us and it wasn’t until 1993 that women were allowed to participate in clinical trials for medications, according to the Nation Library of Medicine.  

Why is this such a difficult debate? I deserve the same level of medical care as a man, yet I have to fight with doctors who don’t take my symptoms seriously. Not to mention I am not something you can simply conquer and use to carry the next generation. I am a grown woman not a breeding farm and I refuse to be treated as such.  

If me being myself and doing what I have to do to protect myself and to be taken seriously makes me annoying, or loud, or a bitch, then that’s what I’ll be. I’d rather be a bitch than murdered or assaulted any day. 

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