Because yesterday, my dad was telling one of his work friends about how I hit a patch of ice last year on the interstate while driving a broken-down truck and crashed, and the guy responded, “Aw, classic case of DWF... “ *pause* “Driving while female, you got me?” Everyone laughed. That was apparently an okay joke to make. And I was too in shock to say anything to stick up for myself.

Because for some reason, when I’m walking down the very short half-mile down the street to get groceries, guys stick their heads out of their trucks and scream obscene noises at me. What are they trying to gain from that interaction? Do girls ever respond positively to that? Am I supposed to flip you off? Were you driving alone and actively said to yourself, "Do you know what would make this drive more interesting? Screaming obscene sex noises at the girl obviously minding her own business across the street who would never, ever respond"?

Because at the beginning of the year, I gave a speech for my Argumentation and Debate class. At the end of my speech, I asked if there were any questions, and one guy, very bluntly, asked a very stupid question that had nothing to do with the topic I had spoken about, and I, as bluntly as he had asked the question, informed him that he was being idiotic. The whole class, made up of mostly girls, flipped out, as if the fact that I stood up for my beliefs solidly in an Argumentation and Debate Class was ridiculous, simply because I had spoken up against a guy.

Because in cases like the Stanford rape case, the woman's plea of being completely violated and horrendously abused, the criminal is given a ridiculously short sentence because he only made "one mistake," even though that mistake completely destroyed someone's life, while humiliating the victim throughout the entire investigation process.

Because it's okay on the Conservative side of the political spectrum to strip a well-educated, incredibly intelligent and successful professor down to nothing but her sexuality at a nationally televised conference, since the male speaker in question felt threatened by her accomplishments. And everyone laughed. And for some reason that was okay.

Because I am expected to be independent, yet submissive. I must be sexy, yet prudent. I have to be intelligent, but not smarter than the guy sitting next to me in class. I must be good at cooking or cleaning and being maternal, but also fiercely independent and awful to any man who might dare to come alongside me. Because I must always be flirtatious, but never lead guys on, and never, ever have my own personal feelings that may stick a guy in the friend zone.

Because I must be everything, and yet nothing at all.