Whether they’re spreading their legs on the subway, criticizing our bodies, physically abusing us or paying us less for equal work, entitled men everywhere continue to assume we are small and find ways to make us smaller.
Get this: No woman is small. Whether a woman is fat, skinny, curvy, short or tall; the one thing she will never be is small.
Nothing ignites my feminist rage more than men who think they’re entitled to more than women. This past weekend when I shared (and evenly split the cost of ) an 18-inch pizza with three of my male coworkers, this rage ignited. When the pizza arrived, I grabbed a slice and walked away for five minutes. When I returned, the pizza had almost been eaten in its entirety. They scarfed down the pizza like animals, and because I didn’t eat quickly enough, I didn’t get my share.
A very frustrating dynamic seems to occur when women eat with men. If you are a slow eater and you are a woman, chances are your date will help himself to your food once he has finished his meal. He will ASSUME that because you are eating slowly (and because you are a woman) you could not possibly finish your entire meal.
Men think that because we are women, we are not hungry. They eat our food because society puts us in a box where we are constantly struggling to shrink our waists and eat less. Society tells us that women are constantly trying to cut calories and that we couldn’t possibly eat the same amount of pizza that men would eat.
Femininity does not equate to small, delicate, fragile, meek or dainty. Femininity means expressing yourself in feminine ways—however you choose to define them— and eating an entire pizza if you want to.
Even if I didn’t eat all four pieces of the pizza that I had paid for, they belonged to me. I paid for them and they belonged to me. When we are out to dinner my dish belongs to me, and the only time you get to eat off of my plate or help yourself to my share is when you ask me for a bite or when I offer it to you.
The same applies to my body, my work ethic and my space. My body belongs to me and you only get to touch it when I give you permission. The work I do belongs to me and I deserve equal pay to my male colleagues because I need to feed myself, too. My seat on the train belongs to me because I paid the same amount as you did, and I demand that you make space for me.
Women nourish their bodies the same way men do, and it is up to us to decide when we are full. As men, to presume you are entitled to start eating our food when you have finished yours is sexist, demeaning and inconsiderate. You are operating under the assumption that our space is only ours until you take it from us – an assumption that is dangerous to women everywhere.
So, entitled men everywhere: get your hands of our bodies and get your hands off our pizza.