Afraid: “that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world” (The Great Gatsby)

Mon, 03/24/2014 - 21:25 -- Max M

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When I was five years old,
I heard that boys stood when they peed.
Angry and jealous,
I dragged my princess panties down to my ankles,
Held my skirt above my belly button,
Straddled the toilet, seat still down,And let go.

 

I, too, understood backsplash and bad aim.

 

At age twelve,
A boy in my math class saw my test score,
And told me not to feel bad-
Women are naturally bad at math, he had said.
That quickly turned my Cs into Bs-

 

And then into As.

 

At fourteen,
I fell in love.
He claimed that women have no say.

 

I did not rebel that time.

 

And now, I realize,
If I ever have a baby girl,
I will react with tears and wails
And fits of rage.

 

How am I to teach her
That she is strong
And smart and independent,
When I am too busy teaching her
How to please men
To keep them from beating,
Raping, taking, or killing her?

 

If I ever have a baby girl,
I will not teach her to be a fool,
I will not beg for her stupidity.
Instead, I will stress a more important quality,
One that every female must possess,
As soon as they accept a feminine label: 
I will teach her fear,
For fear, and fear alone,
Will keep a girl safe
In the dark-alleyed, male-infested streets
That we live in,
Whether in a large foreign city,
Or our small-hometown suburbs. 

 

If I ever hear,
It’s a girl
I will turn by head in bed,
And I shall weep,
For the already-lost innocence,
Due to the life-sentence she is given
By three little words.

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