Fragility has never suited me. When I was a child, I was constantly covered in dirt, and I refused to wear dresses or play with dolls. I read nonfiction, I especially excelled in math, and I was not interested in romance. I rather liked being alone, and I never once experimented with my mother’s makeup.
“Tomboy” is a term used affectionately to describe a young, resolute girl whom has not yet been adorned with mildness; don’t worry, she will tame out of it. As she grows older, that affection wanes, and she hears the adjectives “unladylike” and “intimidating” more often. These words roll off tongues like reprimanding whips that sting her mouth and thread her lips shut.
But I would rather be called intimidating than cute. “Cute” rewards and perpetuates women’s self-dimming. This is why I cannot help feeling offended when you, a stranger or acquaintance, use it, nor can I cool the searing flash of my white-hot gaze. It signifies a weakening of egalitarianism between us. Cute things are not dangerous. We call things “cute” when they are vulnerable and need our direction, protection, saving.
I need none of these things from you. Make no mistake, I am formidable. By the time that word has left your mouth, I have already thought of seven different ways to weave it into your noose. Tell me I should smile more often and I will bare my bloody teeth from behind my dripping red snarl. I do not have to be quiet and delicate for you; I’ve both a howl and a bite that will haunt you. These jaws are not canvases for your lips or for keeping your eyes lazy, but for shredding the flesh of your pseudo-respect and crunching the bones of your empty praise.
I demand raw interaction. I love with ferocity and I hate with ferocity. Is this intimidating? Does this scare you away? Good. If you were looking for lukewarm, we had nothing to talk about, anyway.