The loss of agency

My body is not my own. 

As my 18th birthday approaches, so does my entry into adulthood

As does my loss of agency.

My value as a person will rest on how sexually appealing I seem

My hard work?

My morals?

My intelligence?

All for naught.

Happy birthday, you're an adult, now you must carry pepper spray with you at all times

After all, we wouldn't want you getting raped.

For extra precaution, don't wear anything revaling or you'll be asking for it

nothing too modest or you'll be an ugly bitch who needs some

and don't walk alone

always have a buddy

preferably a man.

Hey girl, I see you're working there.

Why don't you ditch this place and come with me?

I have a nice car... we can go for a ride.

Seventeen?! Never mind. I'll be back in a year. To harass you again. Once you're of age it's okay.

Why don't you smile? You'd be so much sexier

and sexier means better business

from people like me 

old men looking for someone who can't say no

is required to wear a smile in the face of everyone who comes by in order to keep their job

because after all

refusing sexual advances is rude

customers don't want to go back to a place where they were treated rudely.

So I walk to my car every night

afraid not of what danger my life is in

but what danger my dignity is in.

 

 

This poem is about: 
Me
My country
Our world

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