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.

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.

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.

Battlefield

This world is a battlefield
And every day is a new war.
I fight just to be heard,
To be allowed my opinion.
It’s a man’s world,
And I rage like those before me.
This war will never end,
As long as people breathe.
You will always feel that need
To prove you’re better than me.
And I will always be here
To prove you wrong.

We are meant to be equals,
But you enjoy making me feel small.