Bodies, boys, and more
Over the summer, I saw a play in which a woman in a rocky marriage asked the audience how it was possible that one man could affect her so much, that one man could make her feel so bad. Admittedly, the collective patriarchy and general opinion of men seems to be the "backbone" of sexism, so to speak. But in my experience it's the personal that becomes the political, and that it is indeed that one man that can make a difference.
We read into our personal experiences a lot. I find myself questioning my behavior and even altering it based on the reactions that I get from boys, trying to please them. After a break up, I feel my thoughts don't veer towards "Why didn't it work out?" or "Why aren't our personalities meshing?" or "Why did we have that fight?" Rather, I'm immediately thinking about what I must have done wrong, what actions I could have taken to prevent it, why I drove him away. It's really very hard to find one's self when one is trying to mold into someone else's idea of perfection.
As Emmett says to Elle in Legally Blonde: The Musical (which projects a more feminist tone than it's cinematic counterpart), "I don't know if you've noticed before/But each time Warner walks through the door/Your IQ goes down to 40, maybe less. Though it's hardly my business to say/Could it be the real thing in your way/Is the very guy you're trying to impress?"
This extends to even my body image. It's not so much that I think I look that bad, but to a boy? Who knows? While I consciously know I'm fairly healthy, my subconscious can be screaming to try and drop a few - after all, I wouldn't want a guy to judge me.
Even when you're trying to protect a very feminist mindset, impulses brought on by our sexist society can still remain, like bits of debris floating around in your brain. I'd certainly like to clean out those thoughts!