Without Question

Why are you considering a women's college?

I am afraid.

No, not to the naked eye. I live in Philadelphia. I walk to the grocery store at midnight and laugh in the faces of drivers as I pedal through the morning rush-hour traffic. I work in a warehouse full of men and ride public transportation like there is no tomorrow. I've stared down unwanted, unexpected pregnancies and sexual assaults, black eyes from broken men and the brutal truth that life has thrown back at me. And I don't flinch anymore. I don't think I flinched the first time, but I certainly don't flinch anymore.

But I'm afraid. I am afraid of being discounted or discarded merely because of what happens to be between my legs. I'm afraid of having someone look at all the work I've done and all the fights I've fought merely to tell me that my sex organs invalidate all the time and tears. I am just as valuable as every man who is fighting to save the environment, every man who toils in forensics, every man who works to expand the audience for modern and contemporary art. My time and my mind are valuable, intrinsically. They are valuable because I am. Not because I am valuable, but because I am. The same is true for every man, woman, and genderqueerze on the planet, but every day--at...

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