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What it’s like being a teen girl



The violations started small. I was 12, fairly tall with brand new boobs. My mother wouldn’t let me buy “real bras” for a long time. It didn’t occur to me that was weird until boys in my class started advising me to “stop wearing sports bras” because I was looking a little “saggy.” 

It was a boy who told me I had to start shaving my legs if I wanted anyone to ever like me. I said that wasn’t true. He laughed in my face and called me a dyke.

That night after shaving, my mother asked me why I was so vain. 

They started finding reasons to touch me, pinching my butt, snapping my new “real bras,” (“They look a lot better. Did you stuff?”) or straight-up grabbing my breasts. Dropped pencils with awkward leanovers. Staged run-ins.

One time, a popular boy I knew who lived on my street forced his way into my living room while my parents were still working and fought with me over a remote control so that he could cop a feel. I didn’t say anything. Speaking up was not an option—rather, an easy road to being even more ostracized and labelled “crazy.” Besides, who would believe that he’d wanted to touch me?

They named girls one by one, by the flaws of our bodies. What they considered theirs. They would write them on chalkboards to taunt us. Draw crude pictures. 

If we showed it hurt us, it only got worse. I would cry in the bathroom and hope for some serious illness to keep me out of school, if only for a day.

When I kissed one boy, he encouraged me to do the same with his friends. Not because he thought I might want to, but because I was a toy he wanted to share. An experience he wanted to give his less “successful” friends. For them, a celebration. For me, certain social suicide.

Even if I wanted it, there was never any winning.

I will never forget how excited I was to be invited to watch a movie with the popular boy I liked. I primped for hours. (I was, after all, a teenager grappling with my own new sexuality.) When I got there, he did not put on the movie we agreed to watch, but a porn film. I had never seen one before. He unzipped his pants, pushed and pulled at me. I cried the whole walk home.

They could pinpoint weaknesses. Worse, they knew they were wrong but there were just never any consequences. They knew this—treating us like objects there for them—was what was expected of them. 

I want to say that they stop. But the truth is that some never do.

I have never stopped being reminded of my there-for-men status. I am reminded when I am violated in my sleep, or groped in a bar, or held down by a longtime friend. I am reminded when I refuse conversation with a strange man and he spits in my direction, or calls me a “bitch.” I am reminded when I am asked why I wore such a pretty dress if I wasn’t trying to “pick up.” I am reminded when I am told to be less angry and more agreeable. I am reminded when I talk about my lived experience and am told to “stop being so negative about everything.” I am reminded when young girls are bullied so severely by men who wanted to see their bodies that they commit suicide. 

We don’t talk honestly enough about what it’s like being a teen girl. If we did talk about it, what it was like for us, perhaps we wouldn’t be so harsh on them. Perhaps we wouldn’t throw our hands up in the air and exclaim “oh, teen girls, they’re so difficult!” Perhaps they wouldn’t be so scary. Perhaps we’d see their lives for the small and large violations they’re often made up of; and what those violations do. 

Perhaps we would have been less surprised today when we learned that a fifteen-year-old boy was arrested on the scene of a sexual assault, in connection with a series of sexual assaults occurring in the Bloor and Christie area of Toronto. Perhaps we would be less shocked by the fact that it’s 12-17 year old boys who are the most likely to commit sexual assault (Statistics Canada, pg. 13). That is, after all, what they were doing to me. 

My stories are not uncommon. They’re more common than we want to think. As my friend Panic said: “Ask anyone who is or has been a teenaged girl. 15-yr-old boys assaulting women is common. It’s ‘normal.’” It’s so normal, in fact, that we don’t talk about it until we’re women and we know it doesn’t have to be.

Pretty much everything in North American culture tells men and boys that women and girls are there for them. So please, do us some favours. Stop telling us that we have to take self defence. Stop telling us we shouldn’t drink or go out at night or on dates. Stop telling us that we need to be prepared for whatever “boys-be-boys” violations come our ways, because it’s bullshit. We don’t have to accept this or carry it around in silence.

Start talking with men and boys about the messages they’re getting about women and girls. Tell them that they are not entitled to our bodies, no matter what. Talk to them honestly and comprehensively about sexualization and objectification. Stop being afraid to talk about boundaries, sex, and pleasure—leaving that to schools, the Internet, and peers is simply not cutting it. Show them what consent really looks like.

And this sounds basic, but remind them that we’re, you know, people? We deserve at least that much.


Addendum: Thank you + notes

bolded is from me

(via moniquill)



Made some cards for orientalist, racist, Islamophobic people.

Pew pew pew.

(via hamburgerjack-deactivated201404)


The Cinnamon Wind was a swan ship out of Tall Trees Town on the Summer Isles, where the men were black, women were wanton, and even the gods were strange.

“I was afraid of her at first,” said Gilly. “She was so black, and her teeth so big and white, I was afraid she was a beastling or a monster, but she’s not. She’s good. I like her.”

A Feast for Crows (ASOIAF) by G.R.R. Martin

G.R.R.M.’s pathetic attempt to include black characters in the ASOIAF series:

Magical negro? ✔

Hypersexual women ✔

Happy prostitutes ✔

Savage Warriors who can barely grunt, never mind have an actual conversation? ✔

Mute sex slave, who happily serves a master that doesn’t bother to give her a name other than “dusky woman.” ✔✔✔


(via rejenabean)




omg, why has no one… WTF?!

(via femmenoire)

(via mistyknights)

So I say, you know, I say [Nicole Beharie] could be Brandon’s [Michael Fassbender] girlfriend, but what was interesting about it was the objections about it. People say, “Oh, that wouldn’t happen. That wouldn’t exist.” What? I don’t exist? It was a very odd thing, having these conversations about a love interest that was a black woman with Brandon. It was interesting, that… Also, what fascinates me is that you have lots of American filmmakers, white filmmakers, who have never, ever cast a black person, ever in their movies, and they’ve made quite a lot of movies. So it’s: how can you avoid that? It’s kinda weird. It’s almost like, you know, walking around with a blindfold on. And how can you make movies in this country, consistently make movies, and not cast black characters in the main leads?

Steve McQueen, award-winning director of Shame, on people’s reaction to the casting of a black woman, Nicole Beharie, as the lead (white) character’s love interest (via fuckyeahwhitetv)

I love everything about this quote except him equating his invisibility with hers because it’s not the same. Not saying his is any less significant, but making the black female the “love object” in a mixed cast ensemble isn’t the same as placing a black man in the same position. Chiwetel, Idris, Denzel, Will, Jesse, have been that multiple times. Not many black actresses can say the same.  

(via agent355)

I didn’t like him equating his invisibility with hers either. But I’m kind of obsessed with this particular quote (and the context in which he said it) that I’ve been wondering if that part isn’t about the interracial relationship so much as the visibility. So it’s about the end of the quote (where are the Black people in these movies), not so much where are the interracial relationships. 

(via femmenoire)

I think the first half and the second half of this quote are separate things though, he’s not saying producers wouldn’t have cast her in the movie, but casting her in that specific part was unrealistic to some people. He’s talking about the idea Nicole being wanted emotionally by a man like Brandon and equating that with his blackness, which just doesn’t work for me. Equating it with the resistance to casting black actors in movies period, and especially as leads does work for me though. 

(via agent355)

(via mistyknights)










Badvertising of the Day: Ashton Kutcher’s new $1.5 million spot for Popchips is styled like a commercial for a dating service, in which Kutcher plays four single guys looking for love. But not only is the ad, which Kutcher helped develop, tortuously unfunny, his Raj character is in brownface.

In one of many direct tweets to Kutcher’s Twitter handle attacking the spot, Raj says: “An actual Indian named Raj does not find @aplusk in brown face to be funny.”


what the fuck.

Gross! I really like PopChips but definitely giving ‘em up after this bullshit.

8 seconds in and it’s obviously racist. Didn’t even watch rest of it. Shame on PopChips. 

Okay no really, what the fuck is this. I used to kinda like you, Kutch. Fuck off.

Also, there’s like 2358092374 other male Indian names other than RAJ. Seriously how many Rajs, Kumars and Jays can one entertainment industry handle? I understand that not all of our names are that easy to pronounce, but I guarantee you we’ve got plenty more where RAJ came from. EDUCATE YOURSELVES, ASSHATS. 

omg why.


white people just leave the earth. you are defective. goodbye.

omg they just cannot stop.

oh, now it’s private

no big surprise

Oh! I was listening to an India.Arie playlist on YT earlier today and this ad showed up on one of the videos. I clicked the “skip ad” button before I could completely process what I was watching. Then I promptly forgot about/assumed I was imagining things. Should have known better.

(via hamburgerjack-deactivated201404)


Dear Tumblr People of Color,


Specifically Black and Latino folk-Without any white people interjecting or saying stupid baseless shit about how “SEE POC ARE JUST AS OPPRESSIVE/LOL THEY CAN’T GET IT TOGETHER”, in fact without any white people at all, we need to have the whole personal accountability conversation among ourselves for ourselves.

My “From-The-Fuckin’-Streets-of-New-York-City-Former-Cheesy-B-Boy-Then-Club-Kid-Proud-To-Be-Taino-Fuck-The-Cops-I-Hate-White-People” Puerto Rican boss was telling me about how despite growing up in the streets and in the culture and being first generation Latino, he had to grow up and “leave the streets behind”. He grew to see the wrong in the misogyny and the homophobia and get above it. He told me about how his wife got him to stop using the N word because despite his history and cache with the word, should he be using it?

Are we really entitled to problematic shit because of internalizing or because of the totally real and legit cache certain language or mentalities have in our communities? 

The alternative is kind of lacking. Obviously, shit is more complex than “Don’t Say Those Words” or “Automatically Saying Those Words Mean You Are This Bigoted”. Also, many white people are more than ridiculous and use the language and way that Latino and Black people communicate among themselves as means for dismissal or derailing, or to excuse their white savior bullshit.

But again, goddamn white people aside, we need to have that accountability conversation for ourselves. Do we want to keep on with using gayness and womanliness as an insult? It isn’t about whiteness, it is about us. I don’t give a fuck about white women, I care about the fact that me and mine have been hurt by this language, by this mentality. I was always the bitch, always shut up as the black bitch. I removed the word from my vocabulary, then slowly, because you know, “reclaiming” and “Latina and black women have a right to use it” stuff, I slowly started with selective usage of the word, but it still just doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t automatically dismiss female rappers that use terms like “hoe, bitch, cunt”, and can even really love or appreciate the way they are using the term, etc, but I’m not exactly screaming from the mountain tops over the inclusion of it. “Slut” is never OK with me, at all.

We need to navigate this shit and have a real conversation about it. For real.

(via dammitcaleb-deactivated20130328)


White British People on my dash need to STFU







You are the LAST creed of people to tell Black folks anything about anything regarding racism. 

Sit your imperialist asses DOWN. 

“Racism isn’t an issue in the UK”

ALL of my Black Brit friends, Tumblr and non-Tumblr alike, BEG to DISAGREE, muhfucka. 

You are JUST as White Supremacist as your Amerikkkan brethren. 

You may KISS my Yankee ass. 

the extremely awkward moment when a group of people who colonized half the planet says they are the least racist. 

lol UK

The bolding though. The fucking bolded.

That is some wild shit. Australians be popping up with that shit too and the Canadians. They all just need to fucking stop.

(via hamburgerjack-deactivated201404)

“Slut” is how we vilify a woman for exercising her right to say “yes”. “Friendzone” is how we vilify a woman for exercising her right to say “no”.


this is an amazing quote

(via livelaughawesome)

Not just women, i.e. nonbinary people etc., but yeah. Basically. (via avatarsnowy)

^^ true.

(via theoceanandthesky)

(via theoceanandthesky)








Thinking about that time I reblogged a thing about slavery not being that long ago. Speculated that there are probably a few land tortoises alive today that are 150+ years old…

In my mind, that is significant. That the distance between me and enslavement is a living, breathing animal.  Which is to say, no distance at all.

I meant to make this a silly, random post, but now I want to say this again (and again and again…) :

You can’t talk about “over” and the trans atlantic slave trade until me and mine have our names back.  Can you tell me what my family’s names were before they became property? No? Then don’t come talking to me about “over.”

Bolded for emphasis, because that there is something that doesn’t get talked about enough.

The past is NOT the past. It’s not OVER because the results of the things that happened are still with us today.

Genocide, for example, can never be OVER because we can’t bring back the people and the cultures that genocide was committed upon. It cannot EVER, EVER be over.

Colonialism isn’t over in America because the colonizers -are still here-.

The loss is so profound, it’s crippling.  When you stop to let it rise up to full consciousness…it’s too much. The fact that the names we have to carry on our backs day in and day out are from the people who committed just…the most horrific destruction and violence humanly possible. And so complete and total in scope. To where we can’t even guess what our family members might have called themselves before they were kidnapped. The best we can narrow it down is to the most linguistically, culturally, genetically diverse land-mass on planet earth…  Just…what subject position?  What does identity mean to a Black person? What does personhood mean for us? What is agency? What is consciousness and life and death and humanity after such complete dehumanization? White people are scared for 2012, but Blacks folks and Natives— we already had our apocalypse.  We’re living and dying in it.  The grief is so profound.

This is what pissed me off when people say “Get over it, it happened to your ancestors”. Well no, it’s still happening to us right now. We’re still dealing with racism & imperialism & colonialism & cultural destruction only now it’s supposed to be okay because we can afford electronics & we’re “lucky” to be American. Gee, I wonder where the Americas & Africa would be without the genocides, brain drain, & massive theft of land & wealth? And where would Europe be with slave labor? Of course these are questions very few people want to answer.

This, my dad is successful, his family lineage is pretty much a straight line from slaves to share croppers to his immediate family and his father and mother who stayed near the poverty line and worked shit jobs to get all their kids through school. We have “realized” the “american dream” but none of that can erase the fact we dont even know our own names.

It doesn’t erase the fact that in the area and north carolina and south carolina where my family lives there are still major planations (they’ve been turned into landmarks/museums), because the white man with that last name founded large parts of North Carolina, with “our name it”. That the man who owned the plantation is celebrated for building a state on the backs of my ancestors.

It doesn’t change the fact that as far as the documented record shows, no one in my dads family even existed before some time in the mid 1800.

It doesn’t change the fact that (because my last name is so rare and very “ethnic” (as in Dutch and German)) People in high school constantly asked me where it came from, teachers included and who in my family was Dutch or German and whenever I would explained to them it was a slave name suddenly everyone would get uncomfortable, or worse try and make jokes about it (in rural Georgia where people fly their confederate flags more than the US flag)

Or that I actually had some redneck tell me it was wrong for me to be against the rebel flag because I should be just as proud of my southern heritage because the south was built on the backs of my ancestors (for the record I do love being southern but if I had had any type of large heavy object that guy would probably not be alive today)

It also doesn’t change the number of fb request from white people I get based on my last name (we have one of the most uncommon last names in the states probably less than 2600 people have it and it’s largely a last night of white people) Who seem to honestly not understand that we’re not related to them.

SN my cousin was a big time basketball player for the UNC women’s team and the number of friend requests from white people with our last name who claimed they must be distant cousins or someone who insane. They even tried to get us to go to some kind of family reunion. Which I’m sure if that to them either seemed progressive, for them to reach out their hand to some poor black folk and accept them as family (I don’t want your fucking family) or they were ignorant enough to actually think we must have some sort of blood relation.

It doesn’t change the fact, since I’ve been going to school in Chapel Hill I’ve run into tons of people with the last name (and like I said less than 2600 people in the nation have it and most of them are white) and every time neither of us has anyway of knowing if we’re related or if our ancestors just left the same plantation.

And like the original post said this is about 150 years later and my families identity is still tied up heavily in slavery. I can’t go back more than 5 generations before 1. I get into slavery or 2. the line just runs out. For people who need some better conceptualization my grandfather and grandmother, who are still alive and kicking and going well, their grandparents were slaves. Does that help people understand just how far we aren’t from slavery?

I can’t just “get over” something that smacking me over the head everyday can I?

Side Note for anyone who made it this far I’m taking it as an opportunity to plug this awesome poem, opening lines:

My name was not always Diaspora

but one day a man crashed against my shores

have you ever been cut so deep that your children have sores?

This man ripped out his sword, carved a name in my chest,

sliced through my mountains,

pierced through my valley

and then told me I looked broken he could fix me

but seriously if nothing else click the link that video deserves a million views.

(via ahandsomestark)


The 'R' Word, Part 2, or “Why authors should never use their books to settle petty personal issues.”



[TW: ableist language, misogyny]

Reader calls out P.C. Cast on casual and demeaning use of the r-word in the House of Night series; P.C. Cast uses her latest book to respond and characterizes the callouts as the domain of “upper middle class mommies” with hurt feelings. In the book. IN A PUBLISHED BOOK.

What a totally mature response.

The sister of Lauren Potter (an actress with Down’s Syndrome who is also a spokesperson for “The R Word”) left a comment.