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Because You’re a Girl

Being a Girl in a Mexican Household

“Fuck you.”

Dear fellow readers,

Full disclosure, I suck at typing but nevertheless, I am here today to tell you my story. The story of being a girl. It may be typical but to me it’s been anything but typical. Now, let’s jump right in.

My family consists of five members: my parents, older brother, me, and my younger brother. My family never struggled financially, thanks to my father, and my mother always made sure to take care of us how she’d see fit.

As a girl in my family, I had certain tasks that were designated to me. Such as cleaning, cooking, looking after the boys, respecting everyone, following my mother's steps in every way that seemed fit. My parents expected this from me, since this is how my cousins were raised with no troubles and it allowed their parents to hold a higher form of respect from the rest because of the fact that their daughters would make good wives.

However, since I can remember, I started this struggle in 3rd grade, I couldn’t comprehend the concept of gender and why it made us so very different. I could not comprehend why my mother would wake me up at 6 AM on a school day to help her make lunches for my dad and brothers while they slept in. Why I’d have to burn my self trying to learn how to cook while my brothers played games. Why I’d have to clean up their mess or anyone’s I was told to. Though I still did not have the courage to ask why exactly, I had to deal with all of it.

As I grew, I took more notice of differences, how my clothes were different, how my hair would be pulled every morning to be made neat and presentable, how my nails had to be groomed and colored always. I despised all of it. The ridiculous and restrictive clothing that made it uncomfortable to run or play and god forbid I accidentally got it dirty because there’d be hell to pay if I ruined the clothing my mom enjoyed putting on me so much. The tight ponytails or crazy hair ideas my mom would try on me every morning would have to be intact once I returned home. Not to mention my nails that every second made me want to chip them, I hated the flowers and flamboyant colors. I grew jealous of my brothers so very much, for they to played to their heart's content, wear regular, comfy clothing, enjoy their sleep every morning, and mother would rarely yell at them.

Finally, I grew tired of all of it. So I asked:

“Why doesn’t Michael or Steven have to clean or cook? Why don’t you do their hair or choose their clothes? Why do I have to do it all? “

The answer was so simple.

“Because you’re a girl.”

I couldn’t understand why certain bodily features made all the difference. I despised it, everything about it felt unfair, and no one would see it but me. So I decided to stop being a girl, I became the third son my parents never wanted.

I refused to wake up in the mornings, as well as played my to heart's content no matter what clothes I wore. I ruined my hair every day I got to school and just let it down. If anyone would tell me anything, I’d fight with my fist or teeth, bruises covered my body in those days but I didn’t care, I had fun! For once I was happy. Sports were something that I didn’t think I could do but they were liberating! My hand would get messy but it was worth every bit.

Obviously, my parents fought back, they refused to let me go outside and play as long as I was home, they asked teachers for extra work for me to be busy. I got a few beatings here and there, but I refused to change.

As I grew into middle school, the problems grew along with me. My mother refused to let me wear jeans so I’d have to wear skirts. At this point in my life, I did not have the same confidence in myself I had before, so I grew shy of my body. I was a hairy kid and since my mother refused to let me wax or even go near a razor, my legs were always exposed and obviously noticed. So to drive people always from my hairy legs, I drew them to my language. I became a vulgar child, I cursed at everyone and for everything, people found me funny so I was able to find friends who let me borrow jeans once I got to school and got through it one way or another.

Yet the issues never stopped, high school came and I was considered a mess and failure to my family. They hated everything about me, the way I talked, dressed, walked, ate, and looked. I fought with everyone, even my brothers and father. Though it was nothing compared to how much my mother grew to hate me. Eventually, my parents were so tired of me, they cut a deal. If I at least acted “ normal” in front of other family members and social events, they’d stop trying to change me every second of the day and I’d be able to stop going to therapy. I agreed to it, I didn’t care too much about them changing me because I knew that wouldn’t last long but I was eager to quit therapy, so I cleaned myself up every holiday or birthday. Simply so they could save face. However, my mother was never satisfied seeing me return to how I actually was, in jeans with plain thrift shirts, sandals, and my hair in a low bun. She really does hate it.

She tried punishment after punishment, she continues to scream and hit me every now and then to change. She asks me why I’m like this and why I refuse to change.

My response is so very simple, that they hate every time I tell them because they know what I will say.

I say,

“Because I’m a girl.”

I do hope you’ve enjoyed reading.

Remeber, no one can change you but you.

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Because You’re a Girl
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