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.

the_divine_feminine_by_kittenpants2

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!

love-yourself

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

In solidarity,

Pia

The Right to Take up Space Part I

I have the right to take up space. I have the right to spread out and make myself visible. And at 5′-8″ and 230 pounds, you’d think it would be easy.

But it’s not.

Women have been taught to make themselves small and invisible in a myriad of ways. These are just some of the ways in which we are encouraged not to take up space.

  1. Be thin and shut up.
  2. Don’t be too loud or vulgar — it’s not feminine.
  3. Think before you speak. You might offend someone.
  4. Don’t be too smart or no man will like you.
  5. Don’t be too aggressive or you’ll be perceived as a bitch. 
  6. Look at these ads with thin models and use all your energy to try to look like them. You never will, but keep trying anyway. That way you don’t have the energy to engage in conversations about the oppression you are experiencing.
  7. Don’t be too emotional if you want to be successful in business, because people will think you can’t handle the job.
  8. Wear clothes that you find uncomfortable and restrictive so you can reinforce the idea that your worth is measured by how you appear to others.
  9. Tell your daughters it’s their fault when they are sexually assaulted or get unwanted attention from men.
  10. When you’re sitting on an airplane, bus or train, keep your arms and legs crossed, being sure not to demand any space.

men taking up space

I watched this amazing poetry performance by Lily Myers, and it resonated with me very deeply. Let me know what you think.

The next post will be about how you can start taking up as much space as you fucking well please. 

How have you been taught not to take up space?  Leave your comments below.

In solidarity,

Pia