I Am



I was raised to be polite from a young age. At school, church, and sometimes home, I got the message that girls should be exceptionally quiet, meek, respectful, selfless, that we should follow the rules. This was also my idea of a being a “good Christian girl.” As I grew older, more messages were added. I should be submissive. I should “dress modestly,” so that men could control themselves around me. If I wasn’t considerate of men with my outfits, I would cause them to “sin” by thinking of me sexually.

 

I became apologetic for my body.

 

Sorry… for my body — another layer to making myself small — not “too much.”

 

I became apologetic for existing.

 

I was told over and over again to aspire to be a good wife. If I was too strong, too ambitious, too opinionated, too independent or too successful, it would be a threat to men.

 

It was okay to be confident, but not too confident.

 

Me… pretty? Well, that’s conceited — AND — causing men to lust.

 

I am no longer apologetic. I am not sorry for loving myself.

 

As an adult, I’ve matured, but the key messages in my community and around the world have not. The whispers, the unconscious and the deliberate messages to women are alike both inside and outside of the church.

 

I’ve found myself apologizing throughout my entire life. When someone bumped into me; if I coughed too loudly; when I wanted to ask for something — often, when I spoke in general.

 

I apologized for feelings. For being upset. For loving too hard.

 

I’ve allowed myself to be walked all over — letting people treat me badly because it was the “right” thing to do as a righteous woman.

 

Good woman.
Good Christian.

 

I haven’t said “no” enough.

 

Heaven forbid anyone think that I was rude, difficult or demanding. Instead, shrinking — smaller is better.

 

I am done shrinking. I am done apologizing. I am done being quiet.

 

Women are not meant to be defined by men. Women are not responsible for men’s feelings of inferiority, lust, or belonging.

 

Any rhetoric that men cannot control themselves, so women should have to navigate it for them is dangerous.

 

I am proud of my body.
I am proud of my sexuality.
I validate myself.
I am self-worthy.

 

A bold, brave, opinionated, Christian woman.

 

I am everything I was always told not to be.

 

I am not sorry for existing.

 

I AM A WOMAN.

0 comments
  1. jack

    March 10, 2017 at 12:15 am

    With living and thought comes wisdom. I don’t believe the fault is in christianity (little c) or men or women but rather individuals who believe they know better than you, and because they know better than you it is their duty, their responsibility to judge you and correct you and mold you into what they think……. it isn’t just christians of either sex but the religious, atheists, democrats, republicans, and on and on………. the longer I live and experience life the more I realize that to judge or compare someone is a terrible and destructive fools action. To live is to make mistakes, to learn from our mistakes, to listen rather than speak, to consider rather than think but most of all, to love……
    josh’s dad

    Reply
  2. Mahaveer

    April 12, 2017 at 4:06 am

    True anna you are so wise,know well how to deal with every situation & how herself quite , courageous in difficult time.this is also true you are good christian girl now because effect of in child age you started trying to become good christian girl & now you are that 👌🌷😊

    Reply

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