— WRITTEN BY CHEYANNE MUMPHREY AND RACHEL DEXTER
We are females.
We are taught to be feminine. Cross your legs, good posture and look presentable. We are taught to be polite. Hold your tongue and don’t curse, yell or shout — “It’s not lady-like.” We are taught to cook, clean and obey.
We are females.
We are perceived delicate, inadequate and dependent. We can’t play sports, we can’t handle money and we can’t make our own decisions.
The only thing we are good for is our looks and ability to manage a kitchen and a baby.
But we are females.
We can be tough. We can take a hit on the field, throw back an insult and defend ourselves. We can play with toy trucks and video games. We can be intelligent and hold leadership positions, and we don’t have to be wearing a dress or makeup to do any of it.
These guidelines to being a female are being challenged everyday, and equality seems more likely than it ever was when Cleopatra, Rosa Parks and Rosie the Riveter walked the Earth.
Being a female is much more than barbies, pink and purses. Being female is something you should be proud of.
We, as females, have opinions and we will write them, share them and speak our minds.
Throughout the semester we will be detailing issues that females face around the world. We will define what it means to be female and how to live a life being proud in your heels and confident in your skin.
We will look at issues of dress code, bullying, rape culture, pay and more. We will take a stance against female-on-female violence, debate female and male inequalities and define what society has portrayed the female race to be.
Females face inequality every day, and if nothing else we will educate you on the issues we face and what to do about it.
So we are picking up our pens to say — You are strong. You are independent. You’re dominant and you’re damn good at it.
The Opinion Editors
About A Pen & A Dress
A Pen & A Dress is a column by Cheyanne Mumphrey (and often features Rachel Dexter). Created in December 2015, A Pen & A Dress started publishing in The Lumberjack. Mumphrey's goal is to strike conversation about issues women face on a day-to-day basis and challenge the social norms for females across the globe.