Dear, Mother

Dear Mother,

 

There are a lot of things in this life that you didn’t teach me.

I never learned how to match a foundation to my skin,

Or what it means when a boy stares at you from across the room.

I never learned how to bake a cake from scratch,

Or how to properly iron my clothes.

 

However, those aren’t the things that are important about being a woman,

And the things that are important, you’d never be able to teach.

 

How could you look me in the eyes,

And tell me that this is a boys’ world?

That boys will be boys,

And that’s all the explanation we need.

 

Mother,

I have so many questions,

And I don’t expect you to answer,

Because I already know.

 

Why?

I’ll tell you why.

It’s because you and I,

We have XX, not XY.

And this genetic mutation, that has plagued us from birth,

Has lead us to believe that we are inferior in today’s society.

 

Mother,

You never taught me that a dominant woman is not a good woman,

That we need submissive women, and we need them now.

 

Mother,

You never taught me that my voice didn’t matter,

That I should learn to be quiet and stay in my place.

 

Mother,

You never taught me to walk a little faster in the grocery store,

That that man really was following me and it wasn’t my imagination.

 

Mother,

You never taught me to be afraid when walking down the street,

That that van, with no windows in the back, might pull over and pull me in.

 

Mother,

You never taught me not to wear shorts or tank tops,

That they meant yes, even if I say no.

 

Mother,

You never taught me I couldn’t drink with my friends,

That the second I became intoxicated, that I would lose my rights as a person; as a human.

 

Mother,

You never taught me not to walk back from my classes when the sun was going down,

That a man would come up behind me and grab me.

 

Mother,

You never taught me that 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted in the United States,

That I need to be afraid.

 

Mother,

You never taught me I shouldn’t be asking “If?”,

That I need to ask “When?”

 

When is all of this going to happen to me?
Am I going to be okay?

What do I do when my boss, or my professor, comes up behind me and touches me?
What do I do when I start to black out at a party, even though I have only had one drink?
What do I do when I say no, but he says yes?

 

Mother,

I know I said that you didn’t have to answer,

But I could really use a damn explanation.

 

Your Daughter,

Madison.

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My family
My community
My country
Our world

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