Dear Santa,

I haven’t been a good girl this year.

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You see, I am aware of my behavior, that is why I decided to write you this letter. I was not a good girl, and as a matter of fact, I am not a good girl. I knew what it took to be a nice lady and I just failed it on purpose.

Santa, being a good girl meant that I should have cleaned my room. I should have washed the dishes, maybe, and I should have dressed as a lady. I should have stood quiet when facing controversial situations, I should have agreed when everybody said that revenge porn is a girl’s fault, because real ladies never them themselves be filmed or photographed during intimate situations. I should have called them sluts because they made clear that they have sex, but obviously I should not have watched any of those films – and not because I think they are a crime or unfair, but because ladies don’t watch porn, not at all!

I should not have said bad words, I should have tried to keep thin – and should have made fun of those who are fat, because if a woman is fat, she clearly is not trying hard enough. She is lazy and real ladies are not lazy, they must put their beauty in the first place, otherwise how can they please men? I should have pleased men, every men.

But I didn’t.

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This year, Santa, I stood up for myself and for other women who needed help. This year I sent motivation to a friend that had her article denied at college because it’s subject was about how illegal it was when women got raped while drunk (most women don’t even know it counts as rape, because society tell them “they deserved it”). This year I learnt what real sorority means, opening my heart to someone I used to hate when she asked for help in a situation of psychological and sexual abuse (and made a great, great friend, because of it). This year I have stood up when they told me I should be quiet facing cat calls, when they told me that “if I dressed well, it’s because I wanted to be admired”, because I don’t think admiration has nothing to do with sexual assault. This year I have spend a lot of time studying human body, habits and emotions anthropologies, so that I could understand more of the definitions of feminine and masculine in today’s society.

But wait – I have cleaned my room (although my mother thinks it was still a mess). I washed the dishes, I helped people in need, I was polite. Not because being a girl requires me to do such things, but because these are things that make good human beings. I have decided to face sexist/homophobic/prejudicial situations with kindness, trying to explain why the person should not say something like that, because fighting this way brought me peace and good results. I have not questioned the way my sisters fight for their rights and inner peace, too.

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Dear Santa, this year I have not been a good girl, I admit. I haven’t stood the way a sexist society think I should have stood, but I did fight for a better world for everyone around me. I did the best I could not to hurt anyone and to help every single person I could, expecting nothing but their happiness. I became my own hero, I became comfortable in my body, I loved being a woman and a feminist. I know that good ladies should not write about underpinnings, let alone get photographed wearing them, but I know that I have helped a lot of women this year with my writing, because they came to tell me this.

I understand, Santa, if you decide not to come to my house this christmas, if you think I don’t deserve a present. I did the best I could, but I understand that I haven’t met society’s standards. However, I would really appreciate if you read this letter and considering giving me at least a little something for being nice to the planet I live on. I understand if you don’t think I deserve it.

But if you do, please think about dropping a Fleur of England Belle de Nuit babydoll under my tree.

Much love,

Manoela

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Pictures: Ana Beatriz Barros for V magazine

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Dear Santa,