Of course I have it. I'm a good citizen. I care about others and I care about myself. I treat everyone with respect. I volunteer. Tutor underprivileged kids every Saturday. I care about women's rights. Equality. I promote women's issues on campus. Lead our chapter of the society of women engineers. Advocate for equal pay and equal representation in the workforce. A lot of younger students look up to me as a strong woman. They tell me that I inspire them. So that means I am a strong woman, right? If they think I am? I must be.


But am I? Do I feel strong? I wonder if my boyfriend thinks of me as a strong woman. I used to feel good around him, but lately... not so much. I thought he enjoyed having sex with me, but then he said it's not what he wants. It's too plain, too boring, not exciting enough. It's like…he wants me to act like a girl in a porno. I always said that I was ok with porn. I don't really like to watch it, but it's ok if my boyfriend does. What he watches when he is alone doesn't have anything to do with me … doesn't have anything to do with us. Right? But maybe it does…if this is all he seems to want from our relationship these days.


It shouldn't be a big deal...should it? I just don't know. I mean, I want to make him happy. So I've been going along with it. I thought that would make him happy. And then I would be happy too. But every time I feel uncomfortable. Anxious, degraded, sad…and lonely. Is that what sex should be like? Is that how sex should make me feel? Why does it feel like it's always just about sex with him?


This was supposed to feel empowering. But it doesn't. I know I'm all about women's empowerment in education, careers, political life, everything. I wouldn't let myself get treated in a way that feels so uncomfortable anywhere else...so why do I settle for that here?


If I were a woman of integrity I'd stand up for myself here just like I do everywhere else. I could do that. I am a woman of integrity. I'd never stand for it if someone was treating one of those younger girls like this. They deserve so much better…I shouldn't stand for it when it's me either. I know we're better than this. If they are going to look up to me, I want to deserve their respect. I want to be the woman those girls believe I am.





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