First things first, I resent to admit, I have never been gung-ho ‘girl’,

Books on my mind and un-manicured hands, dresses are not what I twirl.

I’ve been silently proud, not for shame or shyness, or for fear of not being heard,

It’s ‘Feminist’, the label, I’ve feared the most, for it is a powerful word.

 

A commitment, I thought, to riots and rage, is what being a feminist entails,

I now burn my bras, I now spit at men, my behavior is now off the rails.

We must stand for our rights, demand men’s respect, and stomp on whoever we may,

Guard our bodies and shave them no more, it is time the patriarchy pay.

 

What a nasty club, a hypocritical one, one where females begin to oppress,

Fair treatment’s our goal, it’s equivalence we preach, how does this help us progress?

But what I didn’t know, and I was not alone, is that rather than take down the male,

The mission of the club is to liberate us all, to ensure that equality prevails.

 

A fool, I felt like, a judgmental outcast, a role in the shaming of my gender,

The spiteful rejection of pink and pearls, the worst kind of female offender.

So I opened my eyes, my ears and my mind to all the imbalance neglected,

The double standards, the unfair logic, the norms I have wrongly accepted.

 

How my mascara is fake, a mask of my ugly, a sly and a devious trick,

Yet when it is gone and I am naturally me I am judged or asked if I’m sick.

How when I wink at a guy, but don’t go back to his place, I’m scorned for being a tease,

But if I take his hand and fancy a taste, I’m forever labeled a sleaze.

 

My skirt is too short, my blouse is too low, my lipstick too red for my age,

I must be modest to protect myself, for it is my fault when men engage.

They smirk at my legs, whistle at my back, and I’m rude when I only ignore,

But I am taught to fear rape and to play hard to get, I know better than to act like a whore.

 

If I am vocally loud and strong with my words I am controlling rather than smart,

If I cry or I yell or become overwhelmed I am weak-minded, too in touch with my heart.

My strength is belittled, my success unexpected, and my skillset limited to few,

I struggle every day to grow great in this world when it’s based on a man’s point of view.

 

Women can’t get it right according to these rules, so far we have come up short,

So I write with high hope that we girls of all types will show our explicit support.

If we fail to unite then we fail to receive the status we know we deserve,

For it is through us that men will help fight for the dignity we strive to preserve.

 

Last things last, and I am glad to admit, I am now very spirited ‘girl’,

Books still on my mind, my nails at least filed, curls of hair that I do love to twirl.

I am openly proud via voice and through work, with the intention of being heard,

I call myself a Feminist, now and always, because it is a powerful word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emily Hammerman

Emily is a proud graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Film and a double minor in Dance and Fiction Writing. She works as an intern for the Catharsis Productions Marketing Department.