I don’t want to laugh at a joke when it’s not funny to placate you. It doesn’t matter to me that you find that offensive. I’m okay with a little offence, are you? Can you be with that just a little while? It concerns me that you, and not just you I’m generalising, find it so hard to sit with an offence that people die. That seems extreme right? But let me tell you, I’m not joking.

I don’t want to assess every photo I post wondering if it will bring me unwanted attention and advances. That’s my job, right? To protect me from you in the best way I can. I don’t want to. But you say I have to. I don’t want to say that in a sentence because it sounds so ridiculous, to worry so much about you. But I do that, and I don’t want to. I shouldn’t have to. You need to change the way you act online. Walk on by, my friend.

I don’t want to wake in the morning and critic and judge my body as it ages. It’s never been perfect, don’t worry they’ve never let me forget that, but now it’s worse. Apparently. Now I’m older, less firm, less everything except actual mass. A body to be toned and poked and prodded into a more acceptable shape. But I don’t want to be at war with my body anymore. I don’t want to find a way around it or past it, I want the war over and done with. I want the fight to be won. But it’s not, is it?

I don’t want to have to correct you when you casually put me down in the language that you find falls so easily from your lips. Your words have meaning and even if you tell me you don’t mean it that way, I don’t want to hear it. When will we learn that the words we use have power and that when you wield them without thinking they’re dangerous and able to cause harm? I welcome conversation, I relish conversation, but what you’re offering isn’t that. It’s a platform for you to speak.

And most of all I don’t want not to do things in my life because the weight of expectations and what ‘they’ say is right and wrong sits on my shoulders like a cartoon conscience. I don’t want to prove myself as a woman in a world that tells me to be quiet. There’s no winning that. I don’t want to think about you anymore. I don’t want to consider your delicate sensibilities or your excessive levels of importance anymore.

So you know what, I won’t.

And friends, if you don’t want to, don’t.

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