Monday, January 27, 2014

"A boy sprawled next to me on the bus, elbows out, knee pointing sharp into my thigh. He frowned at..."

A boy sprawled next to me on the bus, elbows out, knee pointing sharp into my thigh.

He frowned at me when I uncrossed my legs, unfolded my hands

and splayed out like boys are taught to: all big, loose limbs.

I made sure to jab him in the side with my pretty little sharp purse.

At first he opened his mouth like I expected him to, but instead of speaking up he sat there, quiet, and took it for the whole bus ride.

Like a girl.

Once, a boy said my anger was cute, and he laughed,

and I remember thinking that I should sit there and take it,

because it isn’t ladylike to cause a scene and girls aren’t supposed to raise their voices.

But then he laughed again and all I saw

was my pretty little sharp nails digging into his cheek

before drawing back and making a horribly unladylike fist.

(my teacher informed me later that there is no ladylike way of making a fist.)

When we were both in the principal’s office twenty minutes later

him with a bloody mouth and cheek, me with skinned knuckles,

I tried to explain in words that I didn’t have yet

that I was tired of having my emotions not taken seriously

just because I’m a girl.

Girls are taught: be small, so boys can be big.

Don’t take up any more space than absolutely necessary.

Be small and smooth with soft edges

and hold in the howling when they touch you and it hurts:

the sandpaper scrape of their body hair that we would be shamed for having,

the greedy hands that press too hard and too often take without asking permission.

Girls are taught: be quiet and unimposing and oh so small

when they heckle you with their big voices from the window of a car,

because it’s rude to scream curse words back at them, and they’d just laugh anyway.

We’re taught to pin on smiles for the boys who jeer at us on the street

who see us as convenient bodies instead of people.

Girls are taught: hush, be hairless and small and soft,

so we sit there and take it and hold in the howling,

pretend to be obedient lapdogs instead of the wolves we are.

We pin pretty little sharp smiles on our faces instead of opening our mouths,

because if we do we get accused of silly women emotions

blowing everything out of proportion with our PMS, we get

condescending pet names and not-so-discreet eyerolls.

Once, I got told I punched like a girl.

I told him, Good. I hope my pretty little sharp rings leave scars.

- 'My Perfume Doubles As Mace,' theappleppielifestyle. (via queenofeden)

via Tumblr

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