The Fear That Young Women Learn Earlier Than You Think

Amazing writer and poet, Kymeira Stewart writes an important piece on what fear for young women looks like in everyday life.

We learned the fear so early,
 do you even remember not knowing it?

The fear is always living on guard and alert.

That sweet untarnished time before whistles tore at you while you walked
—before keys clenched in fists, running home, turning on all the lights;
 before they taught you to watch your drink,
 because you never know, you just never know;

Before smiles hurt your teeth
 wandering the streets, while they try to lock eyes and up to now you find a way to slip away;

Before they told you to yell
 ”Fire" instead of "Rape”
 because more people will respond
 to a burning building than someone’s end of trust in humans;

This is because of sandwich jokes and rape jokes
 that can rarely be defended without someone responding "sweetie, learn to take a joke" and feeling insulted. I guess my morals make me not funny when I notice you'd shake your cocky head in disbelief because I'm too straight forward.

This is because of assured, self-righteous declarations of:
 "But I’m a nice guy"—
like my body is your reward for being my friend,
 and screw you, no you’re not.

This is because we get paid three quarters
 for every whole dollar of yours,
 This is because you’re twice as likely
 to hire a man with the exact same
 qualifications as a woman;

This is because you keep telling me
 how I should feel and talk:
 don’t get emotional, don’t get angry.

Well, one in seven women will be raped in their lifetimes; one in four will suffer domestic abuse—
and noticing these statistics that’s something to
 goddamn be angry about. Designing this revolving door of the fear that keeps coming back, conveying how women have more of an incentive not to attract the unacquainted.

All in all the fear means just the act of being vigilant.

So don’t you go policing our tone,
 don’t you go trying to control our voices;
 we’re not here to make sure
 you’re comfortable and we’re
 not going to ease you in—
no one eased us into this reality.
 There’s been a lot of years, decades,
 centuries—a lot of ages of hurt,
 and we’ll be as angry as we please. 

We’ll cry and we’ll storm and we’ll shout,
 and if that makes your privilege squirm,
 well, honey, that’s the point.

This article is part of the categories: Community  / Poetry 
This article is untagged. Browse other tags ».


No comments.

Post a comment

Valid XHTML 1.0 Valid CSS