by Josephine Jael Jimenez
There comes a time in every girl’s life where they should finally come to terms with the fact that they’re never going to be good enough. Well, they’ll be good enough for someone, but not for everyone and that’s the part that sucks because ever since infancy, girls are taught to be enough for people. To make themselves enough.
You have to start off as a good daughter. Behave nicely, sit properly, don’t chew with your mouth open, keep your mouth shut unless you’re told to speak. There’s a certain way you should walk and talk and you should always allow people to pull you in a million different directions, especially if they’re men. Don’t look at your brothers or your neighbors or your friends who all happen to be boys playing in the mud. Girls don’t play in the mud, they don’t get dirty and jump off the backs and tops of things. They stay low to the ground, but now low enough to stain their clothes. Daughters are supposed to be pure like that until the day they die.
Then you move on to being a good prospect. You can go on dates, but not too late and your daddy will stand there threatening this boy you like with a shotgun because you weren’t taught to take care of yourself and this boy wasn’t taught to respect you. On these dates, you’re supposed to act demure and like you don’t know what comes next when you know that people follow the same basic pattern, they show the same basic signs. When he finally kisses you, you’re not supposed to kiss him for too long on the first date because only whores do that and women who are called whores don’t deserve respect. Women who have sexual desires don’t deserve love, so you better shove all that down deep while you’re at it. Don’t make any sudden moves, girly. You’ll scare all the men away.
When a boy sticks by you is when you get married and you both become man and wife. Wife first, woman second, in case that didn’t ring in your ears immediately. Cook, clean, give birth to all the babies he wants and cook, clean for all those little creatures, too. Do as your husband says, keep your man happy. Look nice, be nice, never say a word against him because if you do, he’ll find someone new and it’ll all be your fault. Your kids will blame you.
God forbid you have a daughter. You’ll have to teach all this to her, too. You’ll never say it so plainly, you’ll just teach her with different words. Day after day, year after year, you’ll tell you daughter in so many phrases that she has to be something to someone for the rest of her life or else she’s not enough. She can’t be her own person, her own master, her own love because that doesn’t mean anything in this world. She’ll only have worth if she belongs to someone because that’s what your mommy told you.
It’s all a lie, a figment of some man’s imagination. You don’t have to be someone’s anything, you can just belong to you. Women can sit how they want and dress how they want and kiss someone forever if they so choose. They can walk and talk and say what’s on their mind and get dirty if they want to. Women don’t have to be enough, they are enough. Enough is not something you earn, it’s something you are. No matter what your mommy told you, or the way your daddy treated you or what the whole wide world thinks. What they don’t tell you, what they won’t tell you, is that sometimes, your mommy and daddy don’t know shit and neither will you.