I'm A Woman, Proud And Strong

I'm A Woman, Proud And Strong

I like the color pink, and I still like to win.

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I'm a female. No matter how big the mountain, how rough the terrain, how difficult the task, I am fearless. I am a warrior. I am a woman.

I've spent most of adolescent life sitting back and watching society turn into something so cruel and mean, full of intense hate and slander toward anything that is considered even the slightest bit different. Growing up, I was tossed into this world of constant masculinity and lack of vulnerability where I was told what I could and couldn't do and what I wanted and didn't want for my life. My entire life was created for me, and the same was true for my close friends and family members who had fallen victim to this ugly place we call home.

And yes, being a child, obviously, you have to have some kind of guidance from teachers and parents, those who are supposed to help you grow instead of pinpointing every single detail of how your life should run. However, there comes a time when each and every person, no matter gender or sexuality, should be able to choose their own path.

I was never liked in my time in public school, and now that I reflect on my time there, I realize that it wasn't because I was an unlikable person. It was because not a single person understood WHY I was the way I was: I stayed to myself, I learned to have a backbone, and I sure as hell DID NOT let any man, or any person for that matter, create a path for me to walk. Women are not doormats. We are strong individuals who have just as much a brain as any other gender in the world. I don't do laundry, I don't clean, and I don't cook. Am I still a woman? Absolutely.

We are underestimated and have been throughout all of history. Our voices have been silenced since the beginning of time, but now we're considered butthurt because we want equality?

I've believed in God as long as I have been born, but I have never once thought that He loved me any less because I decided to stand up for myself instead of bowing to another person. Yes, He created woman from man. But, is that why He gave us the strength of childbirth? Why we are considered the nurturing figure? Why are we as women, mothers, and queens of our time, capable of loving everything with our entire being and still considered the weaker sex?

I am a product of a small town; I am a product straight from a molding masculine household where there are jobs for a woman and jobs for a man. However, I am also the product of a poor education system. I am a product of hatred and sexism. I am a product of a society that has been against my gender since the beginning of time, not just in modern times.

But, even through all of this, I also know for a fact just what women can do when put in a room together for a large amount of time. I've watched nothing turn into something great in the hands of women. I've watched women fail but use failure as encouragement to move forward. I have been a woman who has had doubts but has used her fears to create and empower others. So, don't look at me and tell me that you can't be "feminist" because the Bible tells you that you can't be.

God made us strong.

He made us caring.

He made us amazing.

He made us female.

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PSA: Keep Your Body-Negative Opinions Away From Little Girls This Summer

But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with.

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It's officially swimsuit season, y'all.

The temperature is rising, the sun is bright and shining, and a trip to the beach couldn't look more appealing than it does right now. This is the time of year that many of us have been rather impatiently waiting for. It's also the time of year that a lot of us feel our most self-conscious.

I could take the time to remind you that every body is a bikini body. I could type out how everyone is stunning in their own unique way and that no one should feel the need to conform to a certain standard of beauty to feel beautiful, male or female. I could sit here and tell you that the measurement of your waistline is not a reflection of your worth. I completely believe every single one of these things.

Hell, I've shared these exact thoughts more times than I can count. This time around, however, I'm not going to say all these things. Instead, I'm begging you to push your insecurities to the side and fake some confidence in yourself when you're in front of others.

Why?

Because our negative self-image is toxic and contagious and we're spreading this negative thinking on to others.

We're all guilty of this, we're with family or a friend and we make a nasty comment about some aspect of our appearance, not even giving a single thought to the impact our words have on the person with us. You might think that it shouldn't bother them- after all, we're not saying anything bad about them! We're just expressing our feelings about something we dislike about ourselves. While I agree that having conversations about our insecurities and feelings are important for our mental and emotional health, there is a proper and improper way of doing it. An open conversation can leave room for growth, acceptance, understanding, and healing. Making a rude or disheartening remark about yourself is destructive not only to yourself, but it will make the person you are saying these things around question their own self worth or body image by comparing themselves to you.

My little sister thinks she's "fat." She doesn't like how she looks. To use her own words, she thinks she's "too chubby" and that she "looks bad in everything."

She's 12 years old.

Do you want to know why she has this mindset? As her older sister, I failed in leading her by example. There were plenty of times when I was slightly younger, less sure of myself, and far more self-conscious than I am now, that I would look in the mirror and say that I looked too chubby, that my body didn't look good enough, that I wished I could change the size of my legs or stomach.

My little sister had to see the older sibling she looks up to, the big sis she thinks always looks beautiful, say awful and untrue things about herself because her own sense of body image was warped by media, puberty, and comparing herself to others.

My negativity rubbed off onto her and shaped how she looks at herself. I can just imagine her watching me fret over how I look thinking, "If she thinks she's too big, what does that make me?"

It makes me feel sick.

All of us are dealing with our own insecurities. It takes some of us longer than others to view ourselves in a positive, loving light. We're all working on ourselves every day, whether it be mentally, physically, or emotionally. But our own baggage shouldn't be shoved on to those we surround ourselves with, our struggles and insecurities should not form into their own burdens.

Work on yourself in private. Speak kindly of yourself in front of others. Let your positivity, real or not, spread to others instead of the bad feelings we have a bad habit of letting loose.

The little girls of the world don't need your or my negative self-image this summer. Another kid doesn't need to feel worthless because we couldn't be a little more loving to ourselves and a lot more conscious of what we say out loud.

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In Case You Haven't Heard, My Body Means My Choice, So Deal With It

With all the political differences and laws trying to be passed, based on what a woman can do with her body, demonstrates how the United States decides to use their power and control others by the means of it.

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Since the beginning of America, there have always been minority groups, which include African American, Hispanics, the disabled, homosexuals, and women. Such minority groups have made it their responsibility to fight for their rights and earn justice for it. However, there has recently sprung up a debate on abortion policies, attempting to alter and re-write the rules on Roe vs Wade per state to pursue when or if abortion is illegal based on certain circumstances.

Now, I am not writing this in any means to deter you from your individual opinion on this situation or your perspective, but I do believe that I have a voice in this situation since I am a woman and this situation affects me if any of you individuals like that or not. And most of all, I deserve to be heard.

Starting off, in no means should a man, government officials, or anyone for that matter be able to decide what is acceptable to do with my own individual body, EVER. How have we become a country that thinks it is more than okay to tell what others can do based on the decision of another person. See, we have this thing called bodily autonomy which means we have independence over our own body, or at least we should. A prime example of this is when an individual dies, a surgeon can not remove the person's organs (if they were an organ donor) until the designated power of attorney says it is okay to do so. However, it is apparently acceptable and illegal for someone who has become pregnant through rape or in general is unable to care for a child to receive an abortion and loses their bodily autonomy for the following 9 months. How does a corpse have more rights and bodily autonomy than a pregnant woman does today?

Currently, the state of Alabama has passed a bill that makes abortion illegal under any circumstances and committing this now known felony, can lead to a very long jail sentence. In fact, committing abortion in Alabama (for the woman or the doctor) can lead to a longer jail sentence than someone who raped another individual. Wow. How is that acceptable????

Many states are following in Alabama's lead and we need to put a stop to it before it becomes too far. We women, need to fight for achieving our bodily autonomy and band together and show America that we are a force to be reckoned with.

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