I\u2019ve finally gotten my diagnosis. I\u2019m a woman with opinions.\r\nApparently, I\u2019ve had them for years. Back in elementary school, I got my first case of them around the time that I realized that my sister regularly got more orange juice in her glass than I did. The morning I measured the height of the juice in the two glasses, lined up next to one another on the kitchen table, my eyes narrowed and I found myself thinking, wait a minute! That\u2019s not fair!\r\nAfter that, the opinions kept coming. I didn\u2019t like my mom\u2019s bell bottoms. Cats were better than dogs. Orange Volkswagens were funny looking and I didn\u2019t want to ride in them anymore.\r\nDuring junior high, my opinions kept popping up, but I also began to experience a bit of a remedy for them - my desire for likability. I had opinions about my teachers, my principal, my friends. But, I also desperately wanted to be popular, and I knew that if I could just stop having opinions, I could achieve my goal.\r\nThe problem was, I was pretty funny looking. My hair was short and my glasses were huge. I was poor. I got along with the popular kids, but I didn\u2019t go to the movies with them. I didn\u2019t play sports - I was afraid of the ball. So, by about the end of seventh grade, I realized I was never going to be Homecoming Queen. Unfortunately, with that realization came another case of opinions, and once again, I began sharing them with anyone who would listen.\r\nI found friends who had opinions too. Misfits and outcasts, skateboarders, punk rockers and gays. I moved to El Paso, and found a whole city full of people with opinions. In high school, I argued with my grandfather at the dinner table about racism. I fought with my Catholic Spanish teacher about abortion rights. I chose marijuana legalization as my platform in debate class.\r\nI could never keep a boyfriend. My opinions kept boys at bay. By then, I\u2019d gotten contact lenses and grown my hair long. I learned to dress attractively and to style my hair in an alluring way. But I was unable to keep my opinions to myself. Then, when I thought things couldn\u2019t get any worse, I discovered that I was a feminist. I was screwed.\r\nBut, I managed to keep my grades up and graduate from high school. I packed up my belongings and my opinions and carried them north to the University of New Mexico. There, I discovered academia. I wrote poetry, did keg stands and took women\u2019s studies classes. My classes were full of people who had a lot of the same opinions as me! We debated feminism and classism, racism and intersectionalism. I discovered cultural theory. I took Eastern civilization. I thrived.\r\nBut, I still couldn\u2019t keep a man. My opinions kept getting in the way of my likability, and no matter how hard I tried to keep them to myself, they\u2019d rear their heads at the most inopportune times. Once, I was dating a wonderful fellow who was absolutely crazy about me. I liked him. He was gorgeous. He had a Jeep. But, I just couldn\u2019t shake the fact that he was pro-life, so darn it if I didn\u2019t have to show him to the door; my stupid opinions kept me from continuing the relationship.\r\nLuckily, in my 20s, I found Tom. Tom was intimately knowledgeable of my condition - it turns out his mother and sisters have opinions too. Tom and I have been married for nearly 11 years now, and it seems like almost every day, at some point, one of my opinions rears its head. I don\u2019t know how he stands it, but he does, and I\u2019m grateful for it.\r\nSo, even though I\u2019ve managed to land a man and hold down a job, I still can\u2019t seem to get rid of these opinions. And, thanks to my affliction, my likability continues to be compromised, especially when it comes to men.\r\nBecause here\u2019s what I\u2019ve learned: most ladies don\u2019t mind when a woman has opinions. In fact, if you talk to them long enough, you find they have them, too. It\u2019s just that many women keep them covered up, like a blemish, so as not to offend anyone. But many men, on the other hand, are extremely wary of women with opinions. They find them unbecoming, like cold sores or chin hairs.\r\nSo, try as I might, I cannot, for the life of me, make them like me. It\u2019s like I\u2019m back in junior high: I\u2019ll never be Homecoming Queen. But, here\u2019s the thing: I don\u2019t want to be. I want to speak out against fascism, homophobia, domestic terrorism and right wing conservatives. And, as a woman with opinions, I find that I just keep doing it, whether the men like it or not.