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The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

The Student News Site of University of North Alabama

The Flor-Ala

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Why I am scared of girls


I’ve been scared of girls since my formative years. Not just traditionally scary girls, either, grungy with bleary red eyes and septum rings. Freckle-faced girls too, ones who wear flannels and make their own jewelry. And grown-up girls with questionable habits, who bite their nails and still smoke cigarettes.

Type-A girls with neatly folded sweaters, picking out those they no longer wear and handing them down to younger cousins, plus their untidy counterparts, girls who make landscapes out of laundry, piles of worn clothes on their floors.

Girls who write in colored ink and never have chipped nail polish. A variety of styles, shapes, smiles. Princesses and ice queens, barflies, business women. The way they stretch, cross their legs, tap their feet, sway their hips.

Immaculate sneakers, leather boots, plush bangs and messy buns, baggy hoodies and tight athleisure wear. Girls who empower with unexpected compliments, right on the street as they pass by you. Who’ll hand you plastic-wrapped tampons under bathroom stalls and lend you the hair ties on their wrists.

Across the board, women’s relationships with one another are comprehensive and complex. We compete, then we admire; we bruise, then we nurture. I find it hard to stress my fear of girls because I can’t always decipher my feelings for them, my place among women threatening to morph from one of sisterhood to one of sapphism.

The first girl I remember really fearing wore Harley-Davidson sweatshirts with nothing underneath. She carried loose pot in her purse at school and would roll it into makeshift joints out of gum wrappers. I don’t remember what we’d even talk about, only that we’d laugh often. To me she was like a sub-deity, I guess because she never apologized or cried in front of me. She’d stay at my house. I’d wake up to find her still asleep, slack-faced and serene, chest rising and falling. Uncharacteristically quiet, soft.

It wasn’t until last year that I fully recognized my fear, when I visited a “gentlemen’s club” for the first time. More or less what I’d imagined, the place was dark and seedy, with neon lights and low, bass-heavy music. A young woman with braces and a short apron in the style of a French maid handled cash and bussed empty beer bottles. Dancers mostly stood huddled with their backs to the wall, seductively scanning the room for vulnerable men with money to burn. It occurred to me that strippers were sparkly, athletic salespeople. Smooth talkers who, in place of smarmy, car salesman-esque sleaze, use sultry mystique, pouting lips and batting false eyelashes. Finding power against all odds in the commodification of their curves.

Keeping with strip club protocol, I paid for a lap dance, after making sustained eye contact with a dancer in diamond-studded fishnets. I felt the woman’s body move on mine, feeling in-touch with the hypermasculine, enjoying my position between absolute power and a total lack thereof. It seemed clear to me why men sometimes turned to lap dances in times of stress or celebration. The lap dance was relaxing, its back and forth nature like that of a rocking cradle. I had permission to sit back and surrender to divine feminine steamrollery. Once in control, now unable to move.

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About the Contributor
Mary-Stella Mangina
Mary-Stella Mangina, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Mary-Stella is a junior majoring in both Professional Management and French for Commerce.

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