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11 Things You Don’t Owe Anyone — Period By ELIZABETH ENOCHS 1/9/17


11 Things You Don’t Owe Anyone — Period
Jan 9 2017

No matter who you are or where you grew up, almost all of us are conditioned from childhood to believe that it’s impolite to refuse to give what is expected of us. Whether it’s our time, our bodies, our smiles, our stories, our forgiveness, or our explanations, women (and men) are continually told how they should “behave.” So just in case no one’s told you this yet, I’m telling you now that there are some things you will never owe anyone. Period.

If you’ve found yourself spending a ton of time doing things that you don’t really want to do lately, it could be because you’re laboring under the misconception that being a good person/partner/employee/parent means saying “yes” when you want to say “no.” That couldn’t be more untrue, though. You should obviously practice kindness and strive to be the best version of yourself — but don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is the same thing as apologizing for crap that isn’t your fault, having sex when you’re not really feeling it, or smiling at strangers when what you actually want to do is rock a solid RBF.

Here are 11 things that you will never owe anyone, no matter what.

Your Smile

Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s a woman alive who hasn’t heard that they “look so much prettier” when they smile. The fact is, men have been conditioned to think that telling women what to do with their faces is acceptable behavior. Hell, Hillary Clinton was criticized for not smiling throughout the 2016 election cycle, and she was a freaking presidential candidate.

It’s not inherently rude or “threatening” to frown while female. Not only is it a sexist double standard to expect women to smile on command, it’s also creepy AF. As the Huffington Post put it back in 2016, “The sexualization behind telling women to smile is alarming. It makes women feel that we are only meant to be happy and pretty and it’s a passive way to engage into an unwanted conversation. Asking a woman to smile is a selfish act and it’s rarely in a caring tone; it’s condescending and it turns a simple gesture into something sexual.” You don’t owe your smile to anyone.

Your Laughter

Women are conditioned to laugh at sh*tty jokes because it’s the “polite” thing to do, but forget that nonsense. If you don’t think your date’s joke is funny, then you don’t have to laugh. If your dad makes a racist/sexist/homophobic/speciesist joke at dinner, you don’t have to laugh then either. If one of your friends “endearingly” makes fun of your breast-size for the 100th time, not laughing makes sense then as well.

You probably don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, (I don’t either) but you’re not obligated to laugh at jokes that you don’t find funny. Laughing at jokes when you don’t really want to isn’t your responsibility, and in my experience, it just doesn’t feelgood.

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