At three feet, nine inches and scrawny
Unruly hair, I was seven and told to not
Play tag at lunch with the boys,
Because I was fair and they feared my
Skin would take in colour and grow
Darker; but that to me meant stronger,
And intimidating, the shades of childhood;
That are now marred by standards of
Beauty I cannot measure upto.
A handful of years later, when I first won
A debate against a team of five strapping
Young lads, I was congratulated for being
Better than expected, like they assumed
I would fail because they told me, exactly:
‘You put your point across articulately,
It’s atypical of you, re:confused women’
And I shoved my trophy back into their
Staring, sexist hands and walked away.
And now at the threshold of adulthood,
I’m told to not soak in the sun, scoffed at for
Taking a self defence class, stared at for
Walking down empty streets at night,
Laughed at for having an opinion,
Looked down upon because of what is in
My pants; but I am more than my skin,
I am not delicate or quiet, neither docile nor tame.
I do, indeed, kind sir, tend to ramble
And rant about what adversity I face,
I tend to have a voice that you, have
Over the years tried in vain to suppress.
I do, yes, I talk like a girl, I hit like a girl,
I run and fight and conquer like a girl,
Because I draw my confidence not from
You; as you narrow down my salience;
As I fracture your belief of me being
Lesser than, because I’m a girl.