Poem: 10 Facts / One Truth (A Womanist Breakdown Of Womanliness)

“One

As a girl

Your opinion matters little

Who gave you a voice, miss?

Don’t speak your mind

Even if you are right

Just shut up and hide behind

 

Two

As a girl

Your curvy body

Makes them prey on you

Damned is your appearance

Gets you sexualised

Even when you are barely

A ten year old pre-teen

 

Three

As a girl

You need to look after the house

It doesn’t matter if your brothers

Mess up or don’t help

But if you make

A small and silly mistake

The shouts will send you straight to hell

 

Four

As a girl

You must aim at marriage

A distorted vision of culture

Is more important than your education

They don’t care about your grades

You are useless if you can’t bake a cake

 

Five

As a girl

You have to serve the man

Because apparently he is too dumb

To look after himself

And he needs someone to dominate and maintain

In order to feel his toxic masculinity

He must rely on your weak femininity

 

Six

As a girl

You are supposed to wear make-up

Smile sweetie!

Be feminine and delicate

Wear this dress and close your legs

Act as a modest lady

Or risk being deemed

Unworthy of respect

 

Seven

As a girl

Depression is solely being moody

Your dark skin says you are just bitter

Eating disorders

Are mere self-obsessions

Even if unreachable standards

Are promoted across nations

 

Eight

As a girl

You should have children

Be a mother and dedicate your life to others

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t ready

Emotionally or physically

You are a selfish for wanting a career

And without kids

Your life will be seen as incomplete

 

Nine

As a girl

Misinterpreted religions say

You are worth less than men

Because of a natural hierarchy

You deserve to be paid less

Blame yourself if you are raped

It is just human instinct

Kings should always be pleased

 

And ten

Above all

The only certainty is that

As a girl

You turn 16

Feeling like if you are 30

Your phase of innocence and freedom

Ends quickly

And your years of play and growth

Are cut short

By gender roles”

 

-Written about sexism through situations I have personally experienced as a black woman, including comments and events I have heard, lived and seen.

 

By Emilie H. Featherington

All Rights Reserved © 2016

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