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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at USF chapter.

Wear makeup, but not too much. Dress sexy but classy so people don’t think you’re asking for it. Don’t be too forward on the first date so men don’t think you’re desperate, but do enough to keep them interested. Make sure you’re not too skinny so men like your curves but still maintain a slender figure. 

While women’s rights and equality issues have improved in the past fifty years, sometimes it feels like we can never do anything right. Why are we still debating abortion laws in 2024 when a woman has every right to decide what to do with her own body? Why is it that when women are taken advantage of by a man, the first assumption is “what was she wearing” or “maybe it was the way she was acting”? 

Women in their 20’s have it hard enough trying to navigate independence, health, school, work, relationships, and society’s constant double standards; while also making us feel bad about our choices doesn’t create a safe space for us. Many guys have said to me that being a woman sounds easy and that we wouldn’t last a day in their shoes but I disagree. I wish men knew about all the issues we face and that the root cause is because of patriarchal dominance and ideologies created by men. 

Whether it’s being afraid to go to a public gym because you think boys will judge you for using machines wrong or feeling intimidated in a male dominated degree such as engineering; women often feel less than their male counterparts when they can do virtually anything men can. From hearing “are you sure you can do this major? It doesn’t come naturally to girls,” or “your cramps can’t be that bad just take a pain reliever and come to work,”  women are constantly taught that our feelings or problems aren’t valid.

In the spirit of Women’s History Month, I’m here to say if we are constantly judged for almost everything we do, then let’s just do what makes us happy. If you want to wear all pink and listen to all Taylor Swift songs, then do it because if you did the opposite people would probably say “she’s trying so hard to be one of the guys”. If you want to do your makeup every morning and put on your best outfit because it makes you feel good, who cares if people say “she’s trying too hard” or “she only wants to attract male attention.” Never feel like you must be less of yourself to win people’s approval.

Hi! My name is Hayley and I'm currently studying computer science. I love Taylor Swift, iced matcha and writing articles:)