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5 Things Women Should Never Be Afraid Of

There is no shame in being honest with yourself and others.

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1. Saying: "I'm not interested."

Illustration by Tayra Lucero

It doesn't matter if the man who shows interest in you catcalls or politely approaches you, if you're not interested, simply say so. Excuses such as "I have a boyfriend" or "I'm late for work" are nervous reactions. Why do we have to belong to another or be in a rush to get out of talking to a man? Why can't we just not be interested?

It's simple: Keep it real and keep moving. If anyone threatens you out of embarrassment from rejection, call me. (I'll transform into Solange Knowles and handle it).

2. Wearing Clothing That Hugs Your Curves

This applies to both curvy women and slim body types. Both of you look just as sexy in a tight dress, so pay attention: your outfit does not give perverts a right to sexually harass you. Guess what: you could wear 10 layers of clothing topped with a potato sack and still attract attention. Do not let men control how you want to dress or make you afraid to walk past them because what you are essentially afraid of is someone seeing the outline of your body and undressing you with his/her eyes.

I promise you- that's not your problem. Do not be ashamed of your body or how it appears because of someone else.

3. Asking For Birth Control

I'll refrain from my usual lecture about women's rights and get to the point here. Ignore the judgemental look from the pharmacist at Duane Reade and walk into Planned Parenthood with dignity. Whatever you need and/or want is yours. Do not feel ashamed because you are taking control of your life and making your own decisions.

Men have no shame in buying condoms and neither should you. By 2017, there will be birth control pills available for them anyway, so maybe we could all do the walk of shame together.

4. Walking Alone At Night

I admit that I still get weary when coming home late when it's dark and the streets are abandoned. I'm not saying that you shouldn't be afraid of what or who might be out there, I'm saying don't let that fear (especially as a woman) cause limitations in your life.

Be safe. But, if you want to go see David Guetta and are meeting your friends at the club, don't simply stay home out of fear that someone may abduct you on your way to the train station.

Walk on the well-lit side of the street, carry pepper spray, act crazy to scare off any lurkers, then have fun.

5. Doing Or Saying Things That Will Get You Called The B-Word

I once saw a man verbally insulting a woman on the train. I wasn't sure if the two were a couple or not, but the woman looked afraid and kept asking him to stop and to get away from her. After seeing him continue, I intervened.

"It's none of your business, you stupid b****," he said. But, I made it my business, and I told him to leave and he obeyed.

What I'm trying to say here is: If you see another woman clearly uncomfortable and threatened, please say something- do something. Did I know he was going to call me a horrible name? No. Was I hesitant to intervene? Yes.

But, I did intervene. I refuse to watch another woman belittled and threatened in front of me. Everyone on that train stared at them, yet no one but me said a word. I hope we, as women, choose to look out for each other so that there are enough of us to help. It wasn't the first time I got called that word, and I HOPE it's not the last.

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