Fake Middle Class

A term you made for yourself,

Looking down on us

Because we don’t have your ‘standards’,

I’m not as fussy as you,

I don’t want that silver spoon,

I worked hard to be here,

And your judgement is unfounded,

Because you had the same beginnings I did.

I don’t care for your finer things,

Importance put on material possessions,

I don’t have the money,

Or the inclination for it.

I want to be out there,

Seeing the world,

Not trapped in my house,

By all your middle-class priorities.

Invisible

I’m saying things,
But you don’t hear me,
It’s not that you don’t understand,
You just don’t want to hear it.

It’s not my fault,
That my opinion doesn’t match yours,
Or that I was born a woman,
But you ignoring me, is your fault.

I don’t even know that you realise,
How invisible you can make me feel,
With your white male privilege,
That you claim you don’t have.

It’s bad enough I have to endure this,
Out in the real world,
But I expected more from friends,
Who have been outcast too.

This is meant to be a safe place,
Free from attack or judgement,
Yet you still treat me like I’m less than,
And my opinion just doesn’t count.

I might as well be screaming,
For all you seem to notice me,
Because I will never give up fighting,
I just didn’t expect to have to fight you too.

Slipping

I can feel myself slipping
Wth nothing to do
And nothing to focus on
All the bad things come back

Once I start working again,
It will all be ok, won’t it?
I just need something to do
A project to keep my mind busy

It’s so easy to fall
When all you’re doing is killing time
Between different projects
A lull in your life

With no physical activity
Or mental exercise to speak of
My mind races with all the mistakes
Or regrets I should have

But the fact is, I am happy
Even though things seem blank right now
And my mind is preparing for a war
I know I won’t slip and fall this time
Because I fought and won before.

Hiding

I’m 26 now,
But sometimes I am still that 15 year old girl,
Who couldn’t breathe at the thought,
Of having to stand up in front of class
With every face turned towards me.
They’d listen politely,
Like they were taught to do.
But none of them would really hear me,
Or see me properly,
Because I’m hiding behind a mask
I’ve been perfecting for you all.

So I may be 26 now,
But that mask still gets used sometimes.
Because people still don’t really hear me,
And they can say it’s because I don’t have experience,
And I’ll say it’s because I’m a woman.
And sometimes that might be true.
But maybe they are not to blame,
Maybe it’s just because I became too good at hiding,
And not good enough at just being me.

Pause

It feels like I’m starting over again
But I’m not.
I sit here in the same place I was
Five years ago.
Everything has changed since then
Especially me.
And yet here I am,
Back where I started.
Sometimes you have to go back
To know where you’ve been.
And maybe there’s a lesson to learn
That I ignored before.
Or maybe I’m just here
As a pause moment in my life.
To regroup today
So I can do better tomorrow.

Why I Am A Feminist

So I was inspired by some of the reading I’ve been doing recently around Women’s History Month. I consider myself a feminist and have been since I was in high school. Until recently I had never questioned this, but during my recent travels I came up against a number of women who saw being a feminist as a bad thing. I had been reading Clementine Ford’s Fight Like A Girl, and got into some really interesting conversations about it with people I met travelling. Some had good views of feminism, but others were, well scared, as I saw it. The word ‘feminist’ has in recent years been given some bad connotations. It was at this point that I began to think more about exactly why I am a feminist and the way being a feminist is seen by other women and by men.  So I decided to put down on paper just some of the reasons I am a feminist. There are many, many more, but here are just a few of them:

Because I’ve been told to ‘smile’ one too many times when I didn’t want to.

Because I have to work twice as hard just to get by.

Because if I take the lead I’m being bossy, not assertive.

Because when I say no, it doesn’t mean I’m playing hard to get.

Because being athletic doesn’t make my any less of a woman.

Because not all girls want to put on makeup and wear dresses.

Because I don’t fit into the boxes you try to squeeze me into.

Because I should be able to walk down the street without getting yelled at.

Because you shouldn’t be throwing stones at me, just because I turned you down.

Because the media tries to make me feel like I’ll never be good enough.

Because I shouldn’t have to push you off me when I’ve already said no.

Because if I raise my voice I get called shrill.

Because I should be able to dance without you putting your hands on me.

Because if I don’t want you I’m a prude; but if I do, I’m a slut.

Because my only goal in life isn’t just to get married.

Because I’m more than what you tell me I should be.

Because I hated balancing a book on my head, to walk ‘properly’.

Because you called me one of your ‘young ladies’ but ignored me when I needed help.

Because I’m more than just what I’m wearing, or what I’m not.

Because why should I have to obey you, when you don’t have to do the same.

Because my body is mine alone and you don’t get a say.

But mostly it’s because we are all in this together,

And that’s as it should be.

You Matter

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Sometimes the world isn’t pretty,

But that’s ok

Just know that for all those dark days,

I am here.

 

You are never alone,

I will always be here to listen,

I may be far away,

But I will always care.

 

Because this life can get messy,

And we all need those friends,

Who will stand by your side,

And never give up on you.

 

People can be cruel.

They say things that hurt,

But I want to help you heal,

So you can help others.

 

Your voice was not meant to be locked away,

So don’t let them shut you out,

You matter in this world,

I won’t let you forget that.