fuzzy armpits

"Why do you want to look like a man?"

I wear clothing from the men’s section of the clothing store. My leg hairs are longer than most of the hair in my head. I never wear any makeup, no matter if I’m going out to buy bread in the morning or if I’m going to a party. People often call me “sir”. Others hurl slurs at me, sometimes calling me a “dyke”, sometimes calling me a “faggot”, both showing their disapproval of my physical presentation. I see little kids asking their mothers, in whispers, if I am a boy or a girl. And people ask me all the time, why do I want to look like a man?

The answer is simple. I don’t.

And I do not look like a man.

I look like a woman who refuses to perform femininity.

My unshaven legs do not make me like a man, they’re MY legs, and MY hair, and I am a woman. My “boy’s” clothes are worn on my body, the body of a woman. My naked, unpainted face is the face of a woman. I am a woman, and this is not defined by a haircut or a choice of attire, or by lipstick or high heels, or boxer briefs and men’s deodorant worn over fuzzy unshaven armpits. There’s nothing manly about me.

I am a woman, not by choice, but by fact. Because “woman” is a reality imposed to me, from the day I was born and given a woman’s name, to the day I was six and I was told I couldn’t take off my shirt in a blazing hot summer day because one day I would have breasts, to last night when I walked home in a state of hyper-awareness, my house keys tightly clutched between my fingers, tracking the movements of every man in the dark streets.

I am a woman because, since before my own birth, when an ultrasonography picture informed my parents that I would be born with a vulva, I have been groomed to be a member of the woman class, the breeding stock class, the sex class, the lower class. I was taught to be accomodating and speak softly, to not bring attention to myself and to spare men’s feelings. I was taught that the boy who pulled my hair and threw his toy train at me, aiming for my head, probably did it because he liked me, and boys will be boys anyway. I learned that, if I did the same to him, I was a troublemaker. That my assertiveness is unladylike. That one day I would bear some man’s children, and this was pretty much destiny. That my worth was in my looks, more than in my brain. I am a woman because I was taught all these things, and I am a woman because people expect me to know these lessons by heart, and follow every one of them.

When people ask me why do I want to look like a man, what they’re actually asking is why am I not marking myself as a woman. They’re asking why do I fail to perform the role of femininity, to make myself pleasing and unthreatening to the eyes of the upper class, the man class. My mother once voiced her concerns to me, that my looks would make me a target for male violence, and she is right to be concerned. I am perceived as a member of the lower class who refuses to bear the marks and play the role imposed to me. I refuse to shave my legs to look like a pre-pubescent girl, innocent and vulnerable, or to wear shoes that force me to walk on the tips of my toes, slow and precariously balanced, and this makes men angry, because this is a counscious act of rebellion. This is me saying I am not theirs. I will not please them. I do not desire their approval or their attention. And men often get violent when we refuse to cater to them.

My choices of visual presentation make me a cautionary tale. I am the hairy, ugly, lesbian feminist, the one they warn other women about. “Don’t be like her”, they say, “or no man will ever want you”. But I don’t want them either, and I do not want to look like them, or be like them, or have anything to do with them. I want to be free from men and their bullshit standards. I want to strut around proudly, shamelessly unladylike, looking like a woman looks when she’s not covered in face paint and restrictive clothing, when she doesn’t care about pleasing men.

I do not look like a man, and nothing will ever make me look like one. I am pure, unadulterated woman. I choose myself over them, I choose women over them. If that makes them hate me, so be it. Because I am a woman, they would hate me no matter what I did.

What We'll Have

An Ed Sheeran One Shot
A request
: discussing the future with Ed (in bed)
Word Count: 2,152



“Babe?“ 

It came out in a hushed whisper, your fingernails scratching lightly through the patch of copper fuzz sprouting from Ed’s chest. A month or so had passed since he’d gotten his skin permanently etched with a lion right where you’d card your fingers, and it made you smile thinking how it was a little bit like petting its mane. 

“Hmm…” Ed groaned low in his throat with his eyes closed peacefully. 

His chest rocked when he grunted through sleep while you were cuddled up on your right side against him and you could feel the vibration of his voice through his skin where your cheek pressed to his chest. He held you to his side with his left arm cradled around your back. 

“Are you awake?” You asked, even though he’d grunted. He did it again, this time lower and with his eyes closed he turned his head toward yours to rest his chin atop your hair, in the same instance his hand gripped you firmer. 

“Can’t sleep,” you told him, twirling the hair on his chest in the tip of your finger.  

Ed yawned and stretched his right arm up before he sniffled and rubbed his nose. 

“What’s wrong?“ 

In the position you were in he couldn’t look directly at you, but the both of you stayed put, your palm flattening against his chest. 

"I was just thinking…" 

It was quiet when you trailed off and in the dark your eyes adjusted to the outline of his features. His right arm was bent and resting over his belly right where the blankets were draped over his skin.

Keep reading

Okay, hi. I’m fucking salty and sad and annoyed so I’m gonna get that shit out of the way and we can move on to something that doesn’t make me want to punch a wall.

She flew home yesterday. She’s down for a week. She called me and told me she was coming home two weeks ago. She asked me if I wanted to meet up. She said to think about it. She said she wanted to. I want to. I’m not going to. I can’t. I am so not okay today. Time is moving unbelievably fast and also glacial and I just want to eat cheese and cry but my body can’t even muster tears anymore. I am just a fizzy drink being constantly agitated and the pressure will build and tears will soon explode and probably ruin someone’s blouse and also evening. The fun is in the mystery of when that will happen. I feel a pull to disengage with everyone and step back and shut down, and I feel an equal pull to continue seeking connection and to dive in and to be brave. Things feel too soon and I don’t want to wait and I feel self destructive and like I am being reckless with others and right now, it seems like there is no way I can win or feel like things are right or comfortable or safe. I hate the discomfort of it all. 

Also and this goes without saying but America can you get your life together and stop shitting all over human rights? Can I wake up any morning without wondering who isn’t considered a person today? Cool.

Let’s dig for some gratitude now. Last night I turned my brain off at the gym for 5k and charged my Garmin because the sun is starting to peek out. The sky is blue. My legs feel strong and they are getting stronger. My armpits are fuzzy. My room is clean and my bed is made. I can control that. I continue to move forward in whatever form of me this is. 

Okay, good talk.