Little Bits of Freedom
March 23, 2012 1 Comment
Last night, at work, I burped. And I didn’t excuse myself.
“Gross! Say excuse me!” One of my coworkers said.
“I won’t apologize for natural bodily functions.”
This drew everyone’s attention. One coworker argued that “excuse me” wasn’t an apology. Another opined that it was the polite thing to do. Another asked me if I never excused myself. Later, when I burped in the gym, and excused myself, my coworkers that work out with me pointed it out, and praised me. I told them that, yeah, I do actually excuse myself sometimes, because that’s what society expects people to do, and there are some situations where you are obligated to follow cultural rules to the minutia.
In this instance, it seems totally absurd to refuse to apologize for–and be ashamed of–my bodily functions. I’ll admit it sounds like a childish rebellion.
But you know what else I won’t apologize for? You know what else I won’t be ashamed of?
My menstrual cycle. My body fat. That fact that I poop. The shape of my body. My sweat. Or anything else that my body does, or is.
I won’t hide my pad in a pocket when I walk to the restroom.
I won’t continually flush or play music to mask the sounds of the feces exiting my anus and dropping into the toilet.
I won’t rush for a paper towel when I start to sweat during a workout.
I won’t eat before I go out on a dinner date.
I won’t cover the scars on my arms, legs, stomach, and back.
I will not exfoliate or pick the calluses off my hands.
I won’t hold back a grimace or a groan when I fucking hurt, ow.
I refuse to stop using Icy-Hot patches to soothe my menstrual pain, just because I reek of menthol, and that’s just not how a woman is supposed to smell, good gawd.
I’m a human being, and I poop, pee, bleed, sweat, groan, and stink like everyone else. I have lived my life, so I have scars. I am a human being, so I have body fat, my own individual shape, and I eat when I’m hungry.
I refuse to hide all of that, just because of some stupid cultural, misogynistic expectations of women.