the injustices we are told to "just be quiet" about

they say
"this is the part of the story 
where you kiss the prince"

never saying 
that the prince always kisses first 

because the princesses are pretty trophies 
who sing like caged birds 
and are nothing more than that

they sacrifice everything for love 
that the prince only just deigns to grant to them

my issues taken with the prince/princess typical faerytale
is one taken with the way we address femininity in our communities

like how we are taught 
never walk alone 
never walk at night 
watch your drinks 
don't look at strange men 
never dress provocatively 

like the first time my father told me 
not to wear a short skirt in the city 

because my body is an open invitation 
and it is apparently up to me to close it 

even though it should never be regarded as such in the first place

and as we split off into the darkness, 
girls clumped like over-mascaraed eyelashes, 
the streetlamps illuminate signs like 
"welcome to misogyny avenue" 

a*sses designed to be smacked, they tell us 
we don't own push-up bras for our self-esteem 
or have 'shaping' tights for our confidence 

the only places we are safe is with our own 

and so yeah, mock us 
for going to the bathroom in groups 

because we don't want to wander alone 
because we are taught from birth that way lies danger

tell us we're silly and ridiculous 
because we compliment each other's makeup, 
tell each other our boobs look nice today, 
that pair of jeans make our butts look great, 
wow that's a really nice bra 

hey hey pretty pair of underwear, marie 

because we are taught that men will never compliment us like this
because we are taught that we are expected to be the nice ones in the relationship

girls, the mantra of always polite is drummed so far into our bones 
that it is a silent snake in rape culture 

we tell our friends,
so close out of necessity that they are almost our sisters by everything but blood 
first kisses and first periods and first cries 
(those that aren't close don't survive 
survival of the prettiest 
who is willing to sacrifice for you?)

we tell them, 
"he's not going to change"
"if it happened once it's going to happen again" 

we warn them with skin-deep avoidances, 
things knocked into our heads 
by boyfriends' fists and our teacher's hand up our skirts 
things we can't recognize in ourselves

but will tell them to stay away from 

and yeah, 
yeah this is mainly focused on straight relationships
because that is the culture and the stereotype drilled into us from birth
as little girls told that we'll break hearts
but never the feminine ones

so welcome 
to the reason the word feminist 
is as much a part of me 

as the screwball of my gender 
and the rapid heartbeat of my sexuality and romantic orientation
and the cocktail of mental illnesses i swirl in a broken glass

this is the world i live in, 
the skin i was born in, 

and the day i stop fighting is the day i am dead. 

you will open my coffin to find the wooden lid splintered by my fingernails. 

The End

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