Throughout the 26 years of my life, the people who victimized me, made me feel like I am a lesser human being because I am a woman and told me that I am, were not the rempits who cat called while I’m walking down the road after school to get some ice cream. It was not the half drunk Korean taxi driver who verbally harassed me because he thought foreign women will not be offended by his remarks.
It was my family. The women of the family. The people I should look up to and aspire to be when I grow up.
They taught me how to sit with my legs closed because we don’t want men looking at our knickers.
I shouldn’t walk with my feet facing outwards because that is how sluts and whores walk.
I shouldn’t wear anything that shows my décolletage, my midriff or my thighs, even at home, because there are men in the house and it’s inappropriate.
The men were my dad and my grandfather.
When I told them I started pole dancing, they asked if I was trying to be a stripper.
Having sex with more than one man in my life means that I will eventually become a sex addict and when I’m old, the only thing I would’ve achieved is the number of men I’ve fucked. Being liberal in my views equates to me being idealistic and immature. My career does not matter, it is the men I date and will marry one day that will validate my worth as a person, as a woman.
I love them for who they are and what they carry with them. I accept their views and have no desire of changing them even though it goes against my own. But to them, having a different opinion is the end game.
I am not trying to seek for their approval. I am not trying to be the model daughter, granddaughter or niece. All I want is for them to accept me for who I am, all my thoughts, my views, my choices.
Everything starts from home. At home, I learnt that I was not special and I was not loved.
And at this moment, I am still trying.
Trying hard to unlearn it.