My body is not a democracy. My body is an empire and I am its dictator. You do not get a vote. There will be no coup d’etat. Rebel forces will not overthrow me. I am in charge of it forever.
You are welcome to have your opinions. And you are welcome to keep them for yourself. Please do not leave them at the gates of my empire. They will only be thrown in the incinerator, as all of my storage facilities are full.
For the last year, it has felt like there has been an attack on my body, from both the outside and the inside. When I hear the stories of young girls being raped and then bullied by other GIRLS for speaking out, I begin to think I have stepped into some strange world where Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Walker and Ani DiFranco never existed.
When I hear men speak about how women’s bodies work and their ideas for controlling them through legislation, I wonder if they have ever seen a woman’s body. I wonder if they are married and if they are, do they throw those sheets with the slit in them over their wives before they have sex? How can a man in 2013 be as old as they are, with as many children and be so ignorant? And who are the women that let them get this way?
As I look forward to 2014, I realize there is a bit of fighting we need to do. If I have to fight for my body and the freedom to govern my own beautiful empire, then I will, but I will not fight with my body any more. I will not fight with those horrid little uglies—those pests that creep into my mirrors and magazines and photographs that tell me I am too fat to be loved or be beautiful. And just so you know, the uglies attack the skinny girls, too. It is something we all have in common.
NEW RULES FOR MY EMPIRE:
I will feel as fierce as I look when I dress everyday. I am a fashion revolution and my uniform is my beauty and grace and my fabulous shoes which I have the uncanny ability to find for reasonable prices.
No longer will it be acceptable to compare my body to any other woman’s as I walk down the street or sit on the street car or look at magazines. Not even the, “well, at least I’m not as fat as her.” This is a punishable offense.
Punishments for being human and making mistakes are now outlawed. Punishments for any offenses previously mentioned shall be a dose of self love. This may involve singing in the shower, buying new face cream or treating oneself to a donut– even though I am not a big sweets eater—there is a time and a place.
When I love something another woman is wearing I will tell her, even if I don’t know her—she deserves to know that her uniform is fabulous and that our empires can be friendly allies.
I will listen to young girls as they give their perspective on the world and gently remind them of my own, allowing them to come to the meadow of the feminist revolution for themselves, as we all do eventually. I will welcome them when they get there and remember that they are dictators of their own empires and are free to govern as they wish.
I will remember that I am more than a body. I am a spirit, a soul, a being of light. I am but a precious moment on this earth and while that time is short, it is also powerful. I will do my best to honor the sun, the wind and the sky as they bring my existence into perspective.
You are welcome to visit my empire. We have lovely accommodations and reasonable rates. The spring here is fabulous, though we do offer various treasures year round. And just remember, you can visit, but I am the only one who gets to live here. And I am in charge.