The above photo is from a few months after my battle with bulimia. I wasn’t doing the work, I just stopped throwing up. And I still looked completely miserable.
Regardless of how much work I have put in into loving myself over the years, I can still look at myself in the mirror and pick out reasons to not love my body. I can pinpoint them and mock them for not being “perfect” like they “should” be.
But that is absolute and total bullshit. My body is configured the way it is because it serves a purpose. It allows me to live and breathe, and any other judgement I pass on it is merely voicing the brainwashing tactics of the media.
So for this week’s exercise, I want you to do what I did when I wanted to stop harming my body with bad eating habits. I want you to stand in front of a full length mirror, naked, and complete a body scan.
Start from your toes, and thank them for the purpose they serve as a functioning member of your body, and name that purpose. Move to your feet, up your ankles, to your calves, knees, thighs, butt, hips, stomach, and so on. Thank each part of your body for what is ACTUALLY does, without any scrutiny, and appreciate your body for moving you through life.
I think the biggest reason why I abused my body so much is because I didn’t see it for it’s purpose. I saw it as an image, instead of a vessel for important work. I saw it as “too” this or “too” that, instead of the machine that carries me through life. When we start to take note of the reality of things, away from the messages we receive through the media, we can gain our own clarity and peace. Stay appreciative, and stay witchy ( *)
If you can’t open the link (or just don’t want to) here is the short synopsis:
A woman was groped on a high traffic block in New York City’s East Village, and when she turned to confront her attacker, she was mercilessly beat before the attacker fled.
I hope I don’t need to express WHY this is so horribly disgusting.
A similar situation happened to me not too long ago, and, as a writer, I penned a short statement in my notes as I was shaking on the train on the way to work. Here is what I wrote:
This morning I was sexually assaulted in broad daylight.
A man came swiftly behind me and stuck his hand up my skirt. Without hesitation, I took my phone that was in my hand, encased in the largest case in America, and smacked him across the face.
He said “sorry” and ran away before I could grab him by the collar and take him to any policeman I could find. And while he got a nano-second thrill, I was left shaking and afraid.
I am still so shaken up by this event that I can’t think straight. I’m angry, I’m scared, I’m scarred, I’m hurt. But most of all I’m disappointed.
This shit HAS TO STOP. Every day I see men demoralizing women and it is not ok. WE ARE HUMANS. WE ARE EQUALS.
WE ARE NOT OBJECTS.
Now, my reaction to swing was a gut instinct. I feel that I need to protect myself by any means necessary, and I swing when I feel threatened. It was not thought of, nor do I condone violence, but it was merely a fight or flight mechanism. I fought. However, afterwards I couldn’t move because I was shaking so badly.
When this woman turned in a righteous action to defend her womanhood, she was beat down by a sick bastard who defended his right to treat her like a piece of meat. This is the type of shit that makes women feel helpless and afraid.
Now unfortunately I am no stranger to sexual abuse. This is an all too familiar occurrence for me and many women I know. I have worked through a lot of my emotional issues regarding these problems, but when things like this keep happening to women, it’s hard not to feel afraid and harvest some aggression towards men.
When I was sexually assaulted on the street, it took me down to my lowest level. Every piece of confidence was stripped from me and I felt naked and exposed. Anyone that sees me on a daily basis knows that that is NOT my personality. I am big, bold, and brassy on any given day. But when someone is treated as an object, its almost impossible not to feel objectified.
I hate that my attacker had that power over me. And this is why I immediately talked it through and wrote about it. Because I needed to take myself back.
People. We just made history. For the first time, a woman has been nominated the presidential candidate for a major party. It took far too long, in my opinion, but at least its damn progress. And we still have such a long way to go in the way we treat women. Men are congratulated for their sexual escapades, while women are treated like sluts. Men are forgiven for their taking advantage of women, and women are blamed for enticing men. Men are allowed to wear whatever they want, and women are either scrutinized for not being sexy enough, or for dressing to provocatively.
Men and women alike need to work together to end this abuse. Women, we need to band together to fight back, stop something when we see it, raise our boys right, and fight for respect whenever we can. Men, you need to remember that your mothers, your sisters, and your daughters are women. Would you ever treat them as an object, or subhuman?
As an avid feminist, I could go on forever on this topic. Instead, I’m going to invite you to do something to start making a difference in sexual abuse towards women.
Well, if you feel compelled to do something, ANYTHING, in the hopes of gaining justice for this woman, and every woman out there, you can sign this petition from Change.org to remove Judge Aaron Persky from the bench for his clear leniency towards white male privilege and against women’s rights.
EVERY SINGLE DAY women are sexually abused and assaulted. We are treated less than. We are snubbed by our male counterparts when we don’t use our sexuality to get ahead. We are judged when we do. We are called bitches when we are strong. We are called bitches when we get stuff done (thank you Tina Fey). We are called bitches when we turn down sexual advances. This is a battle that we seemingly cannot win. But, in fact, we absolutely can. It starts with us, and again EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Lets make a promise to ourselves and to others right now that we will do everything in our power, no matter how small or how big, to end discrimination towards women. Stay strong. Stay feminists. Stay bitchy. And stay witchy. ( *)