Dear Zoey,

There’s a stigma in our culture that women are crazy. That we are dramatic and over the top and make something out of nothing. We’re constantly told (not just by men, but by plenty of women) that we’re overreacting, caring too much, not caring enough, a bitch for being concerned, a bitch for being assertive, a bitch for not caring. It is truly a never ending cycle.

And I have played into those generalities a lot. I am the queen of being the “cool” girl. The one that can be just as badass as the guys. The one that can shame “crazy women” with the best of them. And in the past year, as I’ve been exploring what it means to be a woman and what kind of woman I want you to be raised by, I’ve learned that I have been creating my own uphill battle.

The type of woman I want to be is one who is fierce and passionate and bullheaded and emotional. And I certainly don’t want to think I’m crazy every time I feel something or want something or confront something. And I want you to always feel that you can be assertive and upfront without ridicule. I never want you to feel like you are less than for being a girl, and I certainly never want you to doubt yourself based on these ridiculous stereotypes we’ve placed on women.

The fact isĀ people are crazy. People are complex and emotional and overwhelmed. Sometimes they overreact. Sometimes they are right and sometimes they are wrong. And it has absolutely nothing to do with gender. It has everything to do with being HUMAN.

Be fierce and vast and interesting, my love.