❝As women, we are taught to be tiny. To have small bodies, to never be imposing. The ideal of our gender are thin and childlike, hairless and dainty. We are defined by our bodies; defined by our control over them. We are taught to obsess over our physicality and to be repulsed by our desires and intelligences. We are taught to walk scared late at night. We cradle our keys between our perfectly manicured fingers, walking gracefully like a baby antelope in a herd of lions. That our virginity defines our character. That I am a frigid bitch if I do not fuck him, and a dirty slut if I do.
❝How long has it been since someone touched part of you other than your body?
❝One of my philosophy professors lectured wildly about love once, yelling: ‘When you’re in love with someone, that person is the lighthouse of your universe.’ (I scrawled it inside Science and Poetry in pencil—lighthouse of your universe—as if I would ever forget that phrase.) He was a delightful caricature of his position. I could swear he literally tore his hair out while howling at us. He went on, ‘Nothing means as much without that person.’ One of the men in the class repeated, incredulous, half-laughing, ‘So you’re saying you can’t enjoy, like, a vacation, without someone if you’re really in love with them?’ ‘Of course not,’ the professor replied. ‘Not completely. You recognize beauty, but beauty means less if they don’t witness it with you. Beauty is less. You see something sublime and your first thought is that they should be there with you. It’s not as good without them. They illuminate. They make everything more.’