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“women don’t know how much rejection hurts” i wasn’t allowed to play with legos or touch a football or look at sports. i wasn’t allowed to eat more. i wasn’t allowed to talk loudly, to laugh too much, to inject myself into male conversations. i wasn’t allowed to be good at science. i was told “oh sweetheart, have another college in mind, STEM fields are hard.” i got turned down from jobs in favor of boys where were less qualified. one boss told me he was hesitant to hire me because my last name is hispanic and i’m pretty and he didn’t want the “controversy.” i couldn’t take up space on the train. i would be talked over in public places. i couldn’t eat steak or drink beer, they were “boy” things. video games were off limits, i wasn’t allowed to ask if i could see more characters like myself in them. super heroes were all men, women were just love interests. i wanted shirts with wonderwoman, with black widow, with harley quinn, i found next to nothing. i wanted pockets and colors other than pink and clothes designed for warmth, not sexy, i got nothing. women change their name to be published nationally. i wasn’t allowed to be emotional, i wasn’t good at driving, i wasn’t in charge of my own body. i wasn’t allowed to show off my body, i wasn’t allowed to dress modestly. i had to be pretty, whatever it took, but my eating was constantly made fun of. “she’s, like, anorexic” was a punchline, not a disorder. “she’s fat” was a death sentence. 

boys said no because: i wasn’t pretty i wasn’t small i was too loud i spent too much energy on being funny on because i wouldn’t shut up what a feminazi i wasn’t smart i was too smart for my own good i was always reading i was always busy i was too needy i was too independent i was not who you took home i was too much of a house mom i was perfect and it was scary.

women don’t know. women don’t know. never sat in a room and wrote angsty poetry about this shit. somehow both overemotional and not capable of knowing how much rejection stings. which one is it. which one is it. i’ll give you a hint: we’ve been rejected since the first time our parents said, “no, not the blue blanket, it’s for little boys to play with.” we are used to having “no” slammed in our faces. we got used to it. maybe the reason it seems so unnatural to hear “no” is because for your entire life, you heard “yes.”