Debate Magazine

My Name is Not Baby

Posted on the 03 April 2013 by Starofdavida

My Name is Not BabyDon't forget to submit an entry to the Second Annual Star of Davida Essay Contest!
My name is not Baby. I have not been an infant for about 17 years, and my preschool days happened long ago. I am not an immobile, helpless being incapable of taking care of myself, dependent on others to ensure that my basic needs are met. I am, if not a grown woman, getting to be a young adult. Certainly not a baby.
My name is not Shorty. Yes, I am a mere 4”11, and I have always been happy to be a short person. However, my height or the pride I take in it does not determine what nickname I go by. Even if it did, you are a stranger, and have no right to be so familiar with me.
My name is not Bitch. The last time I checked, I was human, not canine. And while I may exhibit aggressive behavior upon occasion, I don’t think I can be categorized as “a malicious, spiteful, or overbearing woman” (as defined by Merriam Webster).
My name is not Smile For Me. Why should I smile for you? What right do you have over my expression of my own emotions? If I’m having a really crappy day, why should I smile to make you feel satisfied? Even if I’m having the best day of my life, I’m not going to smile simply because you want me to. My lips, my teeth, my feelings. My decision to do what I want with them.
My name is not Sexy. I am flattered that my physical appearance appeals to you, but please, find a non-threatening way to express your interest, if you must articulate it at all.
My name is Talia. It’s a name that means a lot to me, since I’m named after my grandfather. He passed away about seven years before my birth, and it was really important to my mother to memorialize her cherished father through her child. Since his name was Naftali, she feminized it into Talia. That is my name, and I invite you to call me by it.
My name is not Baby or Shorty or Bitch or Smile For Me or Sexy. And for the record, neither is any other woman’s.

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