Author & Image Credit: Jasmin Vandersteen (instagram @behavebrave )
“As a girl you start experiencing physical and verbal assault around the age of 11. This normalizes it, it becomes a part of everyday life. Wake up, eat, pee, tolerate someone making you feel uncomfortable because you have a vagina, have a cup of tea or two. I’ve realized more and more, that keeping our experiences in our minds perpetuates their normality. I’ve realized this when I’ve shared my experiences and seen the facial expressions on male faces change. We don’t speak about it because society makes us feel like we’re whining or looking for attention. We don’t talk about it because society makes men feel like their job is to treat us like damsels in distress. We don’t talk about it because we’d ruin the coffee date, the afternoon shopping trip or night out at the club, because we’d be focusing on the sad reality that people think it’s okay to disrespect us. We don’t talk about it because if we brought it up every time it happened, that’s all we’d be talking about.
The colors I used are brightly colored and soft, because that’s the way we make our experiences seem. I made this because I won’t let society make me feel bad for being real and raw, I’m not looking to be treated like a damsel, I’m looking to give those who haven’t ever experienced this, a pair of shoes to walk in for a bit, I’m looking to say things out loud so I can realize how fucked up things are, I’m looking to understand how abnormal our normal is.”