2.7
January 16, 2020

I’m a Lady, a Slut, a Virgin, a Mother. I’m Whatever the F*ck I Want to Be.

*Warning: salty language ahead.

~

“If you swear like that, it doesn’t make you look very ladylike.”

That’s is the message I get repeatedly in my messenger, aside from a few threats when I do swear like a sailor. How that is fine for a high-ranking navy seal and not a civilian like myself seems a tad bit unfair, hypocritical, and, quite frankly, ignorant.

So I just feel like I need to respond to it here, cause ain’t nobody got time to shake hands with every asshat who crashes my party. Some of y’all need to bounce.

So listen up, fragile buttercups everywhere (another term I’ve been called: fragile). Allow me to state emphatically for the record: I have zero desire to be more ladylike.

I’ve spent the last 45 years trying to be just that, and, quite frankly, it got me a whole lot less and a whole lot more than I ever expected or deserved.

Ladylike kept me meek and unspoken, something to be seen not heard, keeping me from my voice, my truth, often taking my soul and crushing it with defeat. I stayed silent, and it only served to validate those who treated me like I was worthless. I fear that I was wrong to not speak up, roar like a lion, shout from the rooftops, and dare to ruffle others’ feathers, that I didn’t actively pursue what was my divine calling—because, as a dear friend once reminded me, “God did not grace me to be quiet!”

Ladylike gave me proper and accepted titles to define my soul—wife and mother, for starters. I love my “Mama” status, but funny thing is that my own kids didn’t admire me much for it at all. They wanted me to shine a light into a space of unlimited potential, the fulfillment of my own dreams, so that they could pursue theirs. They needed me to set the example by my actions. I fear what that message of ladylike sent them; what it has taught my sons about how low of expectations to have for women; and what it’s taught my daughter, about what she should accept and tolerate as she grows into her womanhood.

Ladylike kept me convenient—a tasteless, unsavoury recipe to follow, something that can be nuked quickly, a drive-thru window for inconsiderate customers, free wi-fi that transmits a signal 24/7 for others to use, until my data overage charges become as big as my grocery bill. I fear that being easy like the neighbourhood convenient store was reliable and accessible, but a really freaking expensive price to pay.

Ladylike made me a mannequin of modest, in-vogue, trending style attire to be displayed in a storefront for window shoppers to gawk at from a distance until they see the price tag and walk away. I fear that being a plastic, rigid duplicate of every other one on display kept me believing that my boobs must stand at attention, that I must be a size zero, look the same as everyone else, and be admired. That thin was in, and that there was no way out of the unattainable standards set before me. God forbid I take up too much space.

Ladylike insisted I play by the rules and never deviate from them. It commanded me to be a law-abiding citizen in a town where no one knows my name but they’ll pull me over and give me a fine when I pick up traction and speed. Setting one set of rules for one gender and yet another set of rules for the other.

Ladylike demanded me to be Little Miss Perfect. Little as in small, skinny, sitting pretty, watching the fun from afar, ankles crossed, hands folded neatly in my lap with another person’s hand over my mouth. Missing out on life—the risk of being alive, the boldness to love and think without limits, and far too many opportunities and transformational experiences. Perfectly fine with being less than or more than what was expected of me. I fear that was all bullshit, a fairy tale without a happily ever after, a princess who will drop down her hair for some loser to pull from the root and leverage upon to reach the balcony when it was their own damn job to climb.

So, no, I may not always act ladylike—but it’s my own damn choice how I behave.

Whether one chooses to act like a lady or think like a man (I hate that expression), or whether we act like a so-called slut or a virgin bride—it’s none of y’all’s freaking business.

I fear we have forgotten that, and someone, somewhere may need a reminder.

I never needed to be a lady.

What I needed was to unlearn all of that B.S. to be the woman I am today.

We are imperfectly perfect—and that, my loves, is fucking perfect.

Leave a Thoughtful Comment
X

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Christina Lepore  |  Contribution: 13,345

author: Christina Lepore

Image: Enric Fradera / Flickr

Editor: Kelsey Michal