Self-reflection takes different forms with every person. For me, it’s best found losing myself in music. When my body slips into the familiar beat, the familiar rhythms, I find solace. Peace, quiet, an escape. You drive around on your tractor. Like I said, it’s different for everyone. I used to find comfort in the rigidity and training of ballet. From the time I was 5 until a few years ago, I thought I might truly belong in a ballet studio. I am too short, too curvy, my body is too thick to be a ballet dancer. Discovering that and realizing what a disadvantage I found myself at led me to a different style of dance. I still take class, still force my feet into satin pointe shoes, but teachers pay attention to other students. To those who have a chance of succeeding in the ballet world. I can dance, though. Hearing music and letting my muscles find a routine in them is a talent, and a source of great joy for me. So why should it matter what clothes I’m wearing when I dance? It’s not considered inappropriate to you when I dance in spandex shorts and a sports bra, but switch that to a tight dress and heels and it becomes reprehensible to you that I would consider leaving the house like that.
Promiscuity is not for everyone. Some girls do not enjoy the spotlight, some guys do not find girls who are confident in their sexuality attractive. That does not ever earn you the right to slut-shame. Because admit it or not, that’s what you do. You did it to me, you did it to Chelsea. It is my body. How I dress it, how much makeup I wear, the way I move it, the tattoos or piercings I want are not your call. The daily mascara watch on the heater at school gets fucking old after a while. Your callous assumptions about who I am, how I dress, and your opinions on how those will affect my life are uncalled for and frankly beyond degrading. You are the first to bristle at the accusation you are a redneck. Calling you a “dumb VT boy” will give way to an instant snap from you. You claim you are not, you are intelligent, you’ll never be that person, you don’t like doing “hick” things. But how is what you call me any different? I insult your tractors and you take that as a personal affront, yet I am expected to brush off your prejudice and your idiotic notions of what is appropriate.
This is not an issue that only you have. These misogynistic tendencies appear everywhere in this country, and across the world. However, it is not something I’ll tolerate from someone close to me. Ever. Take heed of your words, Abel. They do more damage than you know, and they give you a reputation way worse than ‘the boy who drives lawn tractors’. For all your concern about your public image, it’s not your decision what I do with mine. Word of you being that slut-shaming jerk gets around fast. It already has.