La Poema

From a young age, we female-bodied people are taught many things:


That our worth will not depend on who we are inside, but instead on

The size of our waists,

the cup size of our bras,

our ability to apply perfect winged eyeliner.


That we must always we be peeking over our shoulders

to make sure that no one is following us late at night


That we must always protect our bodies

There are those who will try to take it from us


That we will always  be the ones at fault

Because when we report those boys who grab at us in the school hallway

The principal will smile sweetly and say

“Oh dear, he probably just likes you. You know, boys will be boys”


Whatever miracle or science you believe put us on this Earth

Designed us to be a variety of shapes and colors


So why do 10 year old girls on magazines undergo so much photoshopping that they become unrecognizable?

“Her skin is too dark, lighten it up a bit why don’t you?”

“She’s so pale she looks sick, give her a little color.”

“I think we need to trim that one’s waist down, but make her hips shapely so she looks 17 instead of 10.”


Walking at night has become a battle suited for a gladiator

But we don’t have steel body armor or swords to protect ourselves


So we try to fight, but just like in Ancient Rome,

Few come out alive


Last year I did a presentation on feminism in my english class

Before which, I asked all of my classmate if they would feel safe walking alone at night

10 out of the 11 girls in my class said “no”

The only one who said yes said she’d already experienced so much pain

That she doubted anything could really do anymore damage


Only one boy said yes, “I’m scared of the dark” he joked

I laughed along,

But I didn’t tell him that I’m scared of the dark too

I’m scared of the dark, because

I don’t know who or what may emerge from it when I least expect it

So they can decide that my red lipstick is “too tempting”

Or that my skirt is “too slutty”

And that, because of that, they have a right to my body


About a year ago, I saw the first “consent is sexy” ad

It shouldn’t be necessary to sexualize consent,

Consent should come before anything “sexy” happens


But it’s okay, right?

Anyone who read 50 Shades of Grey knows that consent is just a formality

No matter how many times you say “stop,”

It’s okay if your partner keeps going, as long as it feels good

Fuck that, that is 50 shades of a lie that I don’t need


We are told so many lies so much of our lives

Boys will be boys

Our bodies are all that matter

We’re only beautiful if we fit the standard

We can walk home alone safely

No means yes when you’re in love


I’m sick of it


Feminism is not about

Asking that women achieve equality

Or asking that our bodies not be photoshopped to unrealistic ideals

Or asking to go out alone safely

Feminism is demanding that we no longer have to ask

It’s just expected


This poem is about: 
My community
My country
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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