The Right to Take up Space Part II

My last post was about how as women we’ve been taught to make ourselves small and invisible in the world. This post is about how to stop hiding and take up as much space as you fucking well please.

There are many ways to take up space in a patriarchal society. Here are some suggestions:

  1. When on a first date, don’t take tiny bites of your undressed salad. Instead, eat the food you want to eat and in the portion sizes you desire. Eat as if you were hanging with your girlfriends at a slumber party. If your date comments on your appetite, ask if they’re going to finish that last bite of steak, and then pluck it off their plate, and into your mouth. Don’t forget to flash a huge smile before asking for the dessert menu!

eating cake2. Use all your big words and your f bombs whenever you want to, especially in settings where men tend to dominate the space. And don’t think of apologizing for one minute.

somee hilarious

3. Don’t try to hide your intelligence because your worried people will call you a show off. If others can’t handle it, it’s because they’re insecure. Or stupid. And really, who needs stupid friends?

4..Sit on the train, plane, or bus with multiple bags and take up lots of seats. Only make space for another woman or an elderly person who needs to sit down.

women taking up space on train

Ok, she is getting a pedicure. I love it!

5. Wear whatever the fuck you want. Fuck flattering. You’re gorgeous and a role model for others.

fuck flattering

6. Stop dieting. Stop thinking about dieting. Eat what feels good to you and your body. If that means you eat ice cream every night, then so be it!

7.. Don’t tolerate sexual harassment. The next time you get cat called, shout “heel! good boy” at the offending fool.

cat calling8.. Encourage your daughters, nieces, and all the young girls in your life to focus on their own interests. Tell them to raise their hands during class and to run for student government. Never scold them with “that’s not ladylike.” Teach the boys in your life to respect girls and women and to make space, not always take space.

girls raising hands

9. Revel in your feminine power. Women bring balance into the world. Tap into your inner goddess.


10. Say what’s on your mind, even if it’s hard. Let others be uncomfortable for once. Besides, passive aggression is for douche bags.

11.  Love yourself without measure!


What are some other ways that you like to take up space? Leave your suggestions in the comments.

In solidarity,


3 thoughts on “The Right to Take up Space Part II

  1. Brava, Pia! I hear what you’re saying and I dig it! I do, however, feel like good manners are a virtue and that using them says much more about me that the people I use them with. Not that I disagree with you, in purpose at all. Do I think we should try to shrink ourselves? Hell no! Do I think men should get bitch slapped for cat calling at women and making us feel uncomfortable? Hells to the YES! I also feel that there is nothing wrong with being “ladylike” in general. As a woman raising a young man and a young lady I think about that often. I teach him to let his sister into the car first because it’s good manners. I teach her not to hit him unless she wants to get hit back, because it’s common sense; but I als teach her that she should speak her mind because she has one and it’s brilliant. I teach them both to be respectful of themselves and others because I believe it’s the right thing to do. I hope this doesn’t sound argumentative, because it’s not at all. Oh, and BTW, passive aggressiveness IS the worst ever.


    • I hear you Michelle! Thanks for starting a dialogue. I thought about the basic manners bit when writing this, but decided I wanted this to be much more radical. I don’t anticipate that most women will do or say all of the things I’ve suggested. In part, it’s meant to be a bit sarcastic. But I do I agree that being rude is not the answer to our problems. I simply like the idea that a woman gets on the subway and starts to use the space in a very dominant way. I think pushing the envelope can be a good thing. As for manners, I mostly like them. But sometimes you have to break the rules to get seen and heard! Xo

      Liked by 2 people

  2. There is nothing more passive aggression than some asshole taking up space and daring you to beg for some. I would in the end like to see people be respectful of each other. I don’t hide or shrink. But I also am tired of standing my ground alone. Too many women and men are staying silent in the face of intimidation and privilege and its exhausting to be someone who doesn’t. Believe. It would be lovely if people at minimum demanded the space they are entitled to. Agreed!


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