Find Out What Women REALLY Think, Their First Time!


I was seventeen years old, and everyone else was doing it. It was time to lose my virginity.

My first steady boyfriend, Randy, was downstairs with me in our finished basement, lights out. My parents weren’t home.

He (breathlessly): “Are you sure?”
Me (fake gasp): “Oh, yes!”

Fake Orgasm vs Fake Relationship

But when Randy stripped off his pants, the gasp that came out of me was real. I almost changed my mind.

The only weenies I’d ever seen were the itty-bitty fingertips between the legs of babies. (These were olden times, before explicit films and the internet.) Bearing down on me was this jutting, ugly-as-hell TUBE thing—A thing my boyfriend intended to shove up me. No way.

But I had decided this was the night. I let Randy climb on top. He worked that ugly tube inside while I lay on my back, knees bent, with the bottoms of my feet facing the ceiling.

That was the first time in my life I had ever been in that position.

***

Men, if you’ve ever been curious, here are a real woman’s actual thoughts from her very first experience of lovemaking:

This is not natural.

This is the most vulnerable position for a human to be in, on the back with the belly exposed.

I feel like a turtle stuck on its shell.

I hate this.

Why have older women been LYING to younger women about this?!

Turtle On Its Back

.

I was furious. Furious at WOMEN. How DARE they not share with all girls that there was nothing at all good about sex. That it was all just a fraud, as far as women were concerned.

Even though I came, my first time, I didn’t know what was happening—it was just a physical response, like a pleasant flush of heat. That small diversion wasn’t enough to make up for the extreme awkwardness and vulnerability of the unusual position, and my lack of emotional involvement.

Uninvolved Sex

In my case, it took a year until brain and body got their acts together and I got the hang of it all. (I have it now. 🙂 )

(If you’re still a virgin, and a straight female: This post–from Teen Vogue–don’t laugh–is a great quick read about what first times can be like.)

***

So…it’s the next morning. I’m in the kitchen, and the phone rings.

“It’s Maria—Guess what?”
“Okay: What?”

“Rob and I did it last night.”
“What?”

“You know: Rob and I did IT last night!” crowed my pal.
“You’re kidding! Randy and I did it last night, TOO!!”, I crowed back.

“Hah, hah, April Fool’s!” laughed Maria.

***

I wish there was a photograph of my face right then.

Yes, my dears: My first experience of the glories of sex occurred after midnight on March 31st, making me a true April Fool.

Eight weeks later, I found out just how much of a fool—for we had not used a condom, and I was pregnant.

April Fool in Dunce Cap

.

Why did it take until the 8th week for me to know? Did I not miss a period sooner?

Even during my first adult pregnancy, my periods continued for months, although they were very light.

***

It was 1973. I lived in a house with two abusive parents: Parents who had not only broken my sister’s jaw, but, far worse, tried to break our sense of worth by verbally abusing us daily, accompanied by hard cuffs across the face.

Although I was underweight and hungry much of the time. I’d been forbidden to take healthy food like bread and milk to eat when I arrived home from school each day. No longer were my clothes being provided.

My father was making around $400,000 a year in today’s dollars.

Dayum is Not an Acceptable Word

.

Was I to give birth to a baby while living in that house, to be abused as I had been?
Having severe pet allergies, I had no other options for where to live.

I knew my fetus was better off never being born. Abortion was the only responsible, adult decision I could make.

A handful of other teen girls had gotten abortions, arranged by their parents, even prior to the Roe v. Wade decision. They had been whisked out-of-state, taken to private doctors, and come back to school to buzzing whispers.

That wasn’t going to happen for me. I was so scared. What could I do?

After extremely quiet inquiries, one of my childhood friends came to me privately and let me know that the Planned Parenthood in Downtown (Manhattan) performed abortions, for $100–over $500 in today’s dollars.

I was deeply grateful to this friend: She was devoutly Catholic, and for her to provide this information was to me a sign both of her deep caring, and also her understanding that abortion was the right choice in my case, with my family.

Not long afterward, the Pope issued an edict excommunicating all Catholics who provided, or even had ALREADY provided, any assistance whatsoever to those obtaining abortions. My friend was devastated at the cost of her help to me.

Fuck the Pope But Use a Condom

However, the Current Pope Does Seem a Big Improvement

I had $8 to my name. Babysitting back then paid $1 an hour, and jobs were hard to come by. Where would I get $100?

As I investigated my options, the days ticked by. My boyfriend told me “Don’t worry about it—I’ll take care of it.” but I wasn’t counting on HIM. It wasn’t HIS body that was pregnant.

Finally, I gave in and approached my friend Naomi. In Senior year, we weren’t as close, but I knew our friendship was still there.

I asked Naomi if she would lend me the money, without knowing what it was for, or when I would be able to pay her back. This was a large amount for back then, but she of course said Yes.

Lending to a Friend

Because that’s what friends do.

The day of the appointment. I’m now at ten weeks. Randy and I meet up, and he hands over a crisp new $100 bill. What the what?!

“Where did you get this?!”
“I told you not to worry about it.”
“But where did you get this?”
“I just did. Let’s go.”

I can tell there’s something…off. But I don’t have time for it.

We bus it across the George Washington bridge, take the subway to Planned Parenthood. I sit down opposite an unsmiling, unfriendly black woman (her color will be pertinent). When we get to the part about payment, she asks for TWO hundred dollars—not one.

Surprised Cat Peeping Over Desk

.

“But—I was told by my friend that it costs $100!”

“You came over the bridge today, right?”
“Yes…”

“You live with your parents, right?”
“Yes…”

“Two hundred dollars.”
She looked with hatred at me.

I grew up in a highly-mixed neighborhood. This was my first experience of negative assumptions being made about me based upon my appearance: My color, my features, my style of dress, my manner of speech.

I could suddenly tell that this woman had decided that she was seeing a privileged WHITE suburban girl who could easily afford the highest rate charged on the center’s sliding scale. It took some minutes of talking before I convinced her that I’d had trouble getting ONE hundred dollars.

Two hours later, I was led into a room where a suction abortion was performed. It hurt a lot, but not as much as my monthly cramps (my family were cramp champions).

I felt only relief.

Never have I ever felt any remorse. If I could go back in time and advise teen Babe on what to do, I would say:
“What do YOU think, Babe?”—and then I would heartily endorse her abortion choice.

***

Randy and I left Planned Parenthood that day and got on the subway. Almost immediately, I began feeling ill. I had to get off that shaky dark subway—now.

We slowly climbed up the subway stairs to the outdoors and made our way to a sunny triangular pocket-park, where we sat on a little wooden bench. While we sat, a very tall man came and sat close by my side. Moments later, another large man sat close by Randy’s side, so that we were sandwiched between.

The guys started talking with us, and we with them–I wasn’t feeling that chatty, but was trying to be polite. One of the men suddenly started laughing hysterically. I asked:

“What’s so funny?”
“Don’t you kids know where you are? You’re sitting smack-dab in the middle of HARLEM!”

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; containers rouillÈs sur le trottoir abritant des feux et dÈtritus dans une rue. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

Harlem: The Ghetto. New York City- Harlem- juillet 1970: le ghetto; containers rouillÈs sur le trottoir abritant des feux et dÈtritus dans une rue. (Photo by Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images)

My. That WAS a surprise. (Perhaps the guys had been surprised, also: That two white-looking suburban kids hadn’t been discomfited when two large black men had sat close beside us.)

The guys explained that we had better not try to walk back to the subway alone. (It’s possible they were exaggerating, but in ’73, they may not have been.) One provided his company as we made our way back, and boarded the subway for the relative safety of suburbia.

Where I thanked Naomi, and returned her money.

***

My largest charitable donation each year does not go to Planned Parenthood.

It is my second-largest.

They saved two lives that day. Not mine and Randy’s. Mine, and the life of my would-have-been-abused child.

I have donated to them annually since 1973.

***

My mother used to tell me, often, that were abortion made legal retroactively, she would have never had me.

.

.

SAD-ENDUM

I learned, later, that my then-boyfriend had obtained his “Don’t worry about it” hundred dollars by performing his first major theft. He had:

– broken a window,
– stolen equipment clearly marked with the owning company’s name—but marked with removable marker!
– gone into the downtown Manhattan K-Mart, where the manager purchased these clearly-stolen goods in exchange for a crisp $100 bill.

I urged that POS (piece-of-sugar) boyfriend to make restitution, which he did not.
However, I shamefully did not break up with him quite yet. When I did, a few months later, this is the boy who raped me.

A Woman’s Truth At Every Age


I learned the truth at 17, and all the ages in between.
If men all saw what women see, then there would be equality.

Age 11—I must endure boys at school feeling privileged to touch my body without asking. They run up behind me between every class to rub their hands down my back.

“CARPENTER’S DREAM!” they shout: Flat as a board, easy to screw.

Run away, laughing. The back-rubbing is to see if they can yet feel a bra-strap–which they cannot.

This sexist shaming by boys of pre-teen girls helps drive demand for an unnecessary new product called “junior bras”:

Cup-less flat elastic bands that fasten in the back like a bra, junior bras simultaneously represent the sexualization of female children, and their subordination.

Age 11.  This Still-Little Girl Had to Be Shamed About Not Having Breasts!?

Innocent Age 11. This LITTLE GIRL Was Shamed For Not Having Breasts!?

Age 13—My father’s friend Mr. B.—the same man who kindly carried me home once when I was hurt—is at a party thrown by my parents. He comes into my bedroom. Says “Bite the other end.”.

Leans in, inches from my face, a tiny cocktail weiner now poking out between his teeth. I back away in horror.

This is the first time any male has tried to kiss me.

Age 14—6:00pm. Summer. My friend Vicky and I are sitting on the grass in my front yard, chatting. A car slowly drives by, pulls up to the curb. A boy yells out: “Hey, you want to go to a party?” We assume it’s someone we know—the sun is in our eyes—but we decline.

Two boys, about 16, get out, run over, leap on top of us, and start tearing away at our clothes. On my front lawn, within sight of anyone who might go by. Or come out of my house. It is still light out.

Vicky and I each try, silently, to fight off our separate attackers. I now learn boys are far stronger than girls.

Across the street, Mr. G. comes out on his front porch. He is a New York City detective. He turns to go back inside.

Don’t you SEE us, Mr. G.? What’s WRONG with you?!

[*To be clear, he DIDN’T see us.]

(Why didn’t I scream? Was I breathing? I remember the boy’s fingers over my open mouth part of the time. Was everything happening so fast I was in shock? It was very fast.)

The boy atop me gets frustrated at how effectively I am resisting, so he stands up and JERKS down on my ankles, throwing my arms up over my head. That lets him leap at me long enough to tear open the buttons on my summer blouse. I am so embarrassed.

This is the first time any male has seen my breasts.

And now I am getting very scared, and I am trying to hurt the boy. So is Vicky. The boy raping her decides maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. He calls to the boy raping me, and they run back to their car, which has other boys in it. I guess they were the audience. The car drives off. Vicky and I run inside my house, fixing our clothes. We don’t tell anyone what happened.

It is interesting that the boys were eager until we grew more violently fearful. Based on my own experience working with rape survivors, terrified resistance will not normally save you.

Had these boys thought their manliness would overwhelm our femininity and we would just spread our legs and welcome them while they raped us? Could they have believed the myth that we would LIKE it?

Babe at Age !2

Happy Age 12: One Year From a Pedophile, Two From Rapists.

Age 15—I am standing at the end of a school hallway and overhear two boys, approaching, discussing me. They don’t know I can hear them. One says:

“Hey! That’s B. Outlier! She puts out!” The other boy says “Eww!! I wouldn’t do it with HER!!”

I have never even kissed a boy at a party.

Age 16–I am given my first-ever compliment from any man or boy:

“Your *ss is your best feature. You should back up to people to be introduced.”

Age 16, still—A knock at the front door. It is the boyfriend of my older sister Macy. When I open the door, he begins to yell at me furiously.

I don’t understand. What have I done to him? He is not my boyfriend. I have nothing to do with him!

He is from Italy. He is an oldest son dating an oldest daughter. That makes him responsible for the behavior of all of her siblings. And he has heard about me:

I am sleeping around. A slut. Everyone knows it. It is such common knowledge, so talked about, that word has spread from our highschool over to this man’s nearby place of work.

Even though I have still never even kissed anyone.

Exactly why does my sister’s boyfriend—or any man other than my lover or gynecologist–think it is his right to have anything to do with my vagina? Why does my entire school—and town, apparently—want to criticize what my vagina has been up to?

Whose penises are they criticizing?

Age 17–I go to Spain with the Spanish Club. Our teacher tells us ahead of time that we girls must wear only skirts. Pants will make us appear “loose” to Spaniards.

In Madrid, in the subway and in the public market, the crowds are so thick that you are pressed on all sides, unable at times to move. I cannot escape the horror when male strangers behind me choose to reach up under my skirts, push aside my underwear, and insert their filthy fingers inside my vagina.

This is the first time any male has touched me between the legs.

Age 17, still—I now have a boyfriend. After some time, I decide to have sex. But I pretend to get carried away in the heat of passion, because good girls don’t want to have sex before marriage.

Age 17, still–I summer job-seek, as do my friends. The guys are offered high-paying factory jobs, or jobs with the county. They tell of days spent goofing off. We gals hear “Guys need the work more.” or “The work’s too hard for women.” We can get only low-paid work: Chambermaids, telephone solicitors. No goofing.

Age 17, still–I tell my boyfriend I am breaking up with him. He rapes me, to try to win me back. (It doesn’t work.)

Age 17--Quite the Year.

Experienced Age 17–Quite the Year.

Babe at 17-HS Graduation YB

Age 17–Yearbook Photo. ZERO Makeup.

Age 18—My sister Macy is marrying. I am the Maid of Honor. I meet the Best Man for the first time at the rehearsal. Quietly, so that no one can hear, using many different adjectives, he tells me throughout the rehearsal how extremely ugly and offensive I am.

I am stunned, and devastated. I have always known I was extremely ugly [abusive childhood], but a freedom to despise me for it is heartbreaking. I go home that night and weep. I can tell no one. The man is a beloved friend of the entire wedding party.

He continues his secretive abusive behavior at the rehearsal dinner, and the day of the wedding.

Age 19—I have purchased my first long dress: A spaghetti-strap gown at a thrift store. It’s bronze satin, fitted at the top, sweetheart neckline, flowing skirt, with a pattern of cherry blossoms.

I model it for my friend Maria, walking across the dorm lounge to her room. On the way, a male I barely know volunteers his opinion:

“You should never wear dresses that expose your shoulders. They’re far too bony.”

I never forget his remark, and never bare my shoulders again.

Age 20—Two good-looking, intelligent men want to date me. After I choose one, the other begins to publicly insult my looks and abilities.

If a woman openly and repeatedly yelled insults about a man across lounges and volleyball courts, men and women would think her odd: Overly angry, perhaps mentally ill. I think they would start to avoid her if she persisted.

This man’s friendships with both genders continue uninterrupted. As far as I know (my friend is his friend), no one remarks on his inappropriate behavior.

Age 21—I am hit on by my 50-odd-year-old boss. (Find a young woman who hasn’t been sexually harassed at work.)

Age 22—I am hit on by my 40-odd-year-old boss. I am sickened that he had also hit on my predecessor—a 16 year-old.

Age 22—I swore I would never be a secretary. I am an Executive Secretary, serving as sole business and personal secretary for a Vice-President, and to his 45-person staff, doing all filing, supplies ordering, business typing, and maintaining of frequent updates to company and technical manuals.

A few of the males I serve never bother to learn my first or last name. One day, one of that group is standing nearby when he overhears that I have a degree in Linguistics and Literature. He says “I didn’t know you had a degree!”, and immediately tries flirting.

I tell him that I don’t respect the attitude that people who have attended college are more worthy than those who haven’t. He never quits flirting. His little brain must not have earned its degree.

Age 24–As I run or bicycle next to public roads, young men in cars yell whatever they feel like at me. Sometimes, a car swerves at me so closely it scares me half to death. Sometimes, a cup of soda with ice hits my back. More than once, while biking, I am slammed with a hand, hard, on the rear, bringing me close to crashing.

Age 25—I think I have been hired by an exciting, dynamic firm based on my stellar accomplishments in computing. I attend my first company party, where I and another female are literally cornered by the 50-plus-year-old company president and a visiting Board member.

I learn I was hired because it was assumed I will be the company Party Girl: Give a laugh and spread my legs eagerly for any male employee who wishes it.

Age 30—I am promoted to Director. A pr*ck working beneath me—M., a transfer from the user side of the house—begins spreading poisonous lies over on the user side of the house about, not only me, but our entire operation. My boss calls me in:

“What do you think we should do?”
“Well, J., here’s the problem,” I say.

“M. has been trying to get into my pants for a year, and I’m not interested. He is seriously p*ssed, and even MORE so since I started dating someone else. Now, you’ve promoted the woman who rejected him to be his boss. He will destroy this entire operation rather than report to me.”

“But you’re absolutely the best person to run the show–and we need you to get this project done!”

“I agree. But it can’t work this way, and we both know the politics: M. has to stay involved, given his connections to the upper echelons. The only way this can work is if I report to M. Then his f*cking oversized ego can stay satisfied.”

I resign as Director, accepting an invented title to keep my salary. M. is named Director and boss of me, and becomes sweetness and light.

The sh*t.

Age 35–Looking to change companies. My I.T. skills and experience should net me six figures. Nothing. A headhunter explains:

“Erase some work history, get some plastic surgery. Pass for 25.”

Really Angry Baby Face

Is THIS Young Enough?!


.
.
Age 50–The first time any woman tells me I look nice or am pretty.
Age 57–The first time any man tells me I look nice or am pretty.
 
.
.
Babes Ratty Face Close

Age 58–Do You Like Me NOW?


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I’ll be 60 soon, but the picture was too good to waste.
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The Master Mechanic and the Missing Testicles

Three years ago, after giving a manfriend a vigorous ride through truly exciting terrain, a little surprise resulted:

HOLY CR*P!! RADIATOR FLUID!! ALL OVER THE PLACE!!!
But I have no radiator–where the heck was all that fluid coming from?

NOTE: Terms have been slightly modified to respect the more delicate sensibilities of male readers.

I stop at the top. There’s only a length of hoohah hose long enough to fit a man’s hahhoo.

Here Be Dragons Vag Diagram

My Biggest Dragon Flew the Coop Long Ago

With my two autocidal diseases, I’m used to surprises. I didn’t rush to the mechanic. The next day, I was still leaking fluid, but also still breathing. I made an appointment with a friendly hoohah-cologist.

After shallow spelunking, and some sealant application, she shrugged and said “With you, who knows? Hold off on fun, and try again in a few days.”

That many days later, after more sealant, she said “Jeez, I don’t have a clue. Everything looks really healthy up there.”

Over the past three years, that same hose has leaked again after fun. Not often. Just often enough to make the idea of dating a new guy awkward:

“Hi, New Dude. Uh…listen: There’s the minor matter that I might spring a serious leak if we go uphill or take it above 55…”

Three weeks ago, I lost so much fluid my date and I almost headed for the 24-hour emergency garage.

I later googled like mad and finally discovered that my symptoms could indicate The Big C: Corrosion.

Last year, repeated fluid diagnostics had indicated corrosion somewhere under the hood, but but no scans or mechanics had found any.

I think, instead of the Big C, maybe a teensy bit of misplaced radiator material at the top of the hoohah hose springs a leak–

IF I have fun the same days I’ve applied the recommended additive for older engines: S-Trojan.

(Forget that Pro-Jetster-Zone junk for engines THIS old!)

I really need to get this tricky problem solved. This is my only vehicle, and I’ve noticed most dudes aren’t real fond of hoohah to hahhoo radiator fluid transfer.

They pretty much freak out at the sight of a little coolant.

I needed to see a Master Mechanic.

THE APPOINTMENT

I was nakey, but only from the waist down. I was to be checked out by a tip-top corrosion doc.

I wrapped my nakey bottom in the gown and waited, after running out into the hallway just long enough to pee–and to show off my designer outfit.

Naked From the Waist Down

I Can’t Say I Was Overfond of Their Gowns

After about 15 minutes, the doctor entered. A tall, pleasant-looking man, he smiled and shook hands while introducing himself. Unfortunately, he shook like he wanted to best a male rival.

I inadvertently cried out from the pain. He asked “Did I hurt you?”. I answered “Yes—only a little.” My aching hand throbbed. He didn’t apologize.

I looked toward the door for the female resident or a nurse who’d join us, but the doctor sat down and asked his first question:

“I understand you believe you’ve had a hysterectomy?”

Wha-aat?!

Me (calmly): “I find that question patronizing.”
Doc: “How is it patronizing?”

Me (teacher mode): “Well, what if I were the doctor and you the patient and I asked you: ‘I understand you believe you’ve had your testicles removed?’

Don’t you think you would remember? Do you think it’s different for women because our parts are internal?”

Doc (huffily): If you find my question patronizing, I don’t think this is going to work for either one of us.”

And he stood up and walked out of the room.

I was left there, pantsless and doctor-less. Still not knowing whether or not I have–corrosion.

I’d had to jump through hoops like a performing seal to get this appointment. There are very few Master Mechanics with his expertise. NOW what?!

THEY-SAID-‘EM

Leaving the famous hospital (Geezers Die-Die, perhaps?), I spoke to a lovely woman in Customer Relations, asking: “What would you think if…?”

Upon hearing the question, the lovely woman’s face looked like she’d been hit in it by a hot iron. She called his words “unconscionable”.

My sister Meg said: “I would have been struck speechless.”

My friend A. said she would have had two thoughts in sequence:

“Does the doctor mean we women should have no confidence at all in any doctors or medical facilities? That when we’re told we’ve been given hysterectomies, we’ve instead been lied to and defrauded?

Or, does this doctor think I’m insane?”

My nurse friend in Pasadena laughed hysterically. She loved my answer, but said:

“You should have asked him if he was off his game because he was having his period!”

I snorted back. “I should have put on a dumb-bunny voice, leaned forward, and said:

‘Gosh, I’m really not sure, Doctor! Can you look down my throat and check to see whether my uterus is still down there?'”

The department mucky-mucks told me to write what happened, send it to the Complaint Department, and wait ten business days for a response.

Not one muck offered another doctor, or expressed concern over my still-undiagnosed condition.

AT-ENDUM

This ugly visit happened the same week I learned a dentist has lied to and defrauded me, and

The same week a licensed plumber came to finish installing my dishwasher but instead flooded my kitchen floor.

Unending similar weeks led me to need a break from blogging. When one has bad luck magnetism as powerful as mine, one must sometimes withdraw to regroup and remuster the optimism required for normal human interaction.

I think of you guys, and miss your blogs, but I am still muster-less. I am even considering renewed thumb-sucking. What a warm feeling it was. I think I’ll give it a try tonight, while I hug my stuffed bunny. He has never let me down.

Yet. (sigh.)

–O. Babe

Thumb-Sucking Mandrill

My Baby Pic


 

Lord, Save Me From Helpful, Encouraging Men


Dear Dating Site Dude,
 
It is so refreshing to know that you believe in a “full and equal relationship between a man and woman”.
 
How lovely that I’d be “encouraged” to have interests of my own. For, without such encouragement from you, I would surely not think on my own to stray from our hearth, and would grow to resent my limited life, and you.
 
And I especially agree with your comment about domestic duties. I, too, realize that occasionally it would be more “convenient” for me, as well, to “lend a hand with laundry, cooking, and cleaning duties”.
 
I am curious, though: For all those other times–when it’s not convenient for either one of us–who will perform those duties?
 
Bred For Housework

Perhaps We Can Hire Out To the Bred-For-Domestic-Duty Subclass Within the Subclass? (They’s All Happy When They Cleans)


 
You are looking for a woman comfortable in a domestic role. Stop looking at skinny little things like me. Look for sexy women with more meat on their bones. I suspect odds will be better you’ll find more women who won’t mind cooking you up some fine meals.
 
Me, I’m finished cooking for a man. I worked full-time (many years of 65+ hours) and cooked and kept house(s) for men from 1977 to 2005. That’s long enough.
 
It’s MY turn. I’ll clean and do laundry, or most of both, but everyone can do their own d#mned cooking, or take ME out. I’m worth it.
 
I do wish you the very best of luck with your search.
 
–O. Babe
 


 

How Hot Cereal Made Me a Feminist


I lied.   Hot cereal didn’t make me a feminist. I suspect I was born one. But, when I was very, very (very) young, it did put a voice to my feminism.

 

HO Farina Still

“This Will Give Us Strength To Get That E.R.A. Amendment Passed, Sweet-Pea!”


 

But first, the REAL reason for this post:

I am asking today, if you have not yet seen it, to go visit this Freshly-Pressed post, If I Had a Dollar (Why I Am a Feminist). Its author, Anna Fonté, simply lists some personal experiences which have combined to make her a feminist–and then invites her readers to post their own reasons for why they are feminists.

Anna’s reasons are…big ones. Her writing is bare. I believe her post will become known as one of the classic pieces about feminism.

I chose not to add big reasons (I’ve got plenty.) Here is what I commented on Anna’s post:

Why I Am a Feminist

Because of the big stuff you said. And because of the small stuff. That isn’t small.

Because I could never get an A in Penmanship no matter how hard I tried–my letters were “too small and not slanty enough” according to my teacher–but the two boys who wrote teeny-tiny letters were awarded As.

Because my favorite commercial, for H.O. Farina, told the truth, when Willie said to Wilhelmina that he thought she couldn’t move a big rock ’cause “Hah! You’re a GIRL!”–Then she picked it up and threw it a mile!

Because I didn’t like girl games and Barbie dolls.

Because I was suspended for wearing pants to school.

And because they wouldn’t let me take shop and learn woodworking, but forced me instead to prepare for my future role by learning about different cuts of steak.

And because when my two girlfriends and I forced our way into Auto Mechanics class, the teacher refused the entire year to let us work on a car. And got away with it.

Because my brother told me once, after hearing me on the phone all afternoon with coworkers and vendors:
“No WONDER you piss people off: You talk like a man. Nobody likes that from a woman.”

Because, when my spouse was clearly irritated at me in public, those around clearly assumed I was in the wrong.

Thank you for your post.

Willie:
Every DAY I trip over that rock, Wilhelmina!
    Wilhelmina:
    Move it, Willie!

Willie:
Can’t–‘s too BIG!
    Wilhelmina:
    I’LL move it!

Willie:
HAH! You’re a GIRL!
    Wilhelmina:
    (Heaves rock a mile!)

“Strong Wilhelmina,
Eats her farina,
H.O. Farina,
Creeeeam farina,
Smooth and delicious,
All boys and girls,
Love it so…
H.O.!”

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