Teenage years can be a bust for most people. We all hit puberty, we grow hair in places we don't want hair, and we develop emotions that drive us insane. Taking that shot to ask someone out, taking the chance to do something stupid and not get caught, or overspending and learning from our mistakes. These are all things that change with age and wisdom.
There are days when I go about my business though and decide how much I hate being a female. For lots of reasons, I do love being a female, but there are things that happen to me that make me wish I didn't have to deal with this sh*t.
1. Having periods.
Starting off, I think we woman all understand the struggle of getting our periods; not just having one, but getting them at the worst times we can ever expect them. In my younger years when I'd go to water parks, swimming pools, or the beach with friends for the day, I'd have my period show up the day right before the trip, if not the day of. This still happens to me frequently when I go away on vacations and wish I didn't have to deal with it. The constant trips to the restrooms are not ideal, and dealing with a mess of hormones and quite literally blood, sweat, and tears are horrible. Being hormonal during this time also doesn't help because we get moody and can say things out of context or things that we mean right then, but maybe not on a later basis.
Face it, ladies, periods are inconvenient and expensive as heck. I was born with the ability to reproduce which is amazing, but the 12 periods a year that come anytime before pregnancy can get pricey. Not to mention when having a pregnancy scare, getting Plan B at the convenience store costs $49.99 and no less. Yes, being careful is always an option, but for all my ladies who have this problem and maybe don't have healthcare, these things cost us more than we wish.
2. Body types.
Let's also talk about the fact that we get curves and a figure. For most, curves come around with bodily changes and adjustments. Aside from curves, we also normally get breasts and a bigger booty than we used to have. This is a positive experience for most girls and women, but they come with their ups and downs.
For those unfortunate perverted men that are out there, they find it a good opportunity to try and touch our bodies or even try to hit on us. This can be a flattering gesture, but for women like me who are in committed relationships and are very independent and don't like attention from other people on them, it's insulting and embarrassing. Note that this doesn't happen to all women and we all take it in our own ways and see it from our own perspectives. From a personal standpoint, I pity those people who try when they know that they shouldn't and take my kindness the wrong way.
The other problem that comes to mind at a time like this is that I am seen as prey. Stereotypes and 21st-century opinions and bias put women out to be like meat for a hungry wolf, and in instances where this is true, it is very bothersome and hurtful. There is nothing that I fear more than being abducted when I am alone somewhere or outside in the dark late at night. I'm a small and short female who works a retail job at a convenience store and I am constantly in fear that I'll be held at gunpoint or that I'll be abducted or even kidnapped or worse: raped or molested.
I know it's far fetched to say all of this but I hear of these situations happening every day, especially living in Orlando as I do. My college campus has had a lot of incidents within the past couple of years involving women and men out to get them. My issue with this is that I don't have to do anything for someone to try and come after me. I'm bait for people as other women are as well. We don't have to go out of our way to make someone angry enough to come after us. It's as simple as being the unfortunate victim that happens to be walking around in the area when it happens.
I am virtually defenseless too so this would make it harder for me to be able to escape to save my own life.
4. Workplace sexism.
This isn't as demanding as other things, but workplace sexism can become a real issue (not that it isn't already). Working in a convenience store, I have a work uniform that I'm required to wear each time I work a shift there. Khakis and my work shirt with tennis shoes are my ideal work outfit. Depending on the day, I'll wear makeup very minimally, or some days, I'll go all out and really doll up.
Something I can't stand that happens to me in the workplace is when I'm looked at like a slice of meat from a Thanksgiving dinner by my customers. Not only that, but also when I'm unsure of how to handle a situation that I don't have authority in, and have to call a higher-up to help me. I tend to notice that when a male shift leader is working alongside me, I can call a position of authority and the customer will immediately be at ease with the situation. I'm disregarded as useless and as if I don't know how to do my job though, and that's where the problem lies.
Why is it that men can be posed as more authoritative in a work environment, especially retail? It isn't fair to me that when a female shift leader is working with me that we're both frowned upon, and are sometimes asked to see our general store manager. Cut the crap, it's 2019. We know how to do our jobs and stop being sexist.
5. Fashion dilemmas.
A big thing for me when I go out into public is my hair and makeup. I always have the issue of whether to wear my hair up or down, to even cover my blemishes up with makeup or not. I've always envied being able to just leave the house and not have to worry about how I look for anyone.
It also isn't the fact that I need to look good for anyone other than my boyfriend, but it's a self-esteem issue that never ends. It tosses around in my head day after day. If I consciously go out without any makeup, then I know I could have done better and thrown some on. If I wear makeup, I then wonder how good my skin would feel if I had just gone without it. Not having to clog my pores or worry about getting more acne from my makeup is my brand; my problem always lies in whether to put in the effort to dress my face up. My hair isn't as imperative, but my face is where the attention lies and is therefore where my attention lies.
As a fellow woman reading this article, I ask that you please just be aware. Of yourself, of your surroundings, of people around you, and of your loved ones. It's tough being women sometimes, but we get through it. I wouldn't trade my feminism for the world, even amidst all of the horrible things that it comes with.