A Feminist Poem

I don’t want to write just another feminist poem but here I am, writing just another feminist poem

But I don’t want to be here writing just another feminist poem or even a feminist poem

Because it means that we still need them

Because there are still rapists and abusers and just boys who are copying the adults around them

Because they don’t know any better and so they grow up like this

And they believe it because this is what they’ve been taught like we women are nothing more than something to dismiss

 

And even though you win on your screen we will not be defeated

Because you cannot tell me I’ll be sucking your –

Because I am 15 years old and all I want to do is change the world

But you make me get my claws out, unfurled

And ready to fight

 

We are not more toys for you so get your leering comments away from us before we bite

You cannot treat us like a game, just another thing that you scored a point against

I don’t want your attention

If I did, I would have asked for it but I'm fenced in

By the boxes that you put around me

 

Use your manners like your mother taught you, a woman just like me

Would you say the things to her you say to us?

I think not because at the end of the day

We’re just strangers you’ve never met before so we can’t possibly be human but hey,

Your mother gave birth to you so that was pretty nice of her

And we may be just strangers to you but we're someone's sisters, nieces, daughters

 

I can’t walk alone without looking back over my shoulder to see if there’s someone following me so I have to take a detour

I can’t walk in a group without checking the side streets

Because what if there’s someone there and a group of girls interests their appetite?

 

Walking familiar streets is no comfort because 1 in 10 girls are catcalled before their 11th birthday and

Rape survivors are 4 times likelier to be 16-19 and I’m only 15 and

1 in 3 New Zealand girls experience sexual assault by the time their 16

And it’s more likely to be by someone you know like a family member 

I don’t want to become just another number,

Adding to the statistic like a burning flame

But I can’t speak out because what if I become a bigger target once you know my name?

But I can’t not speak out because what if someone younger than me, more innocent like a calm spring day

Gets caught up in this cruel game you play?

 

Walking in the dark beside my own house scares me

Not because it’s dark but

Maybe someone’s there watching me,

Waiting to grab me.

When I go into the garage even if the sun is shining

I still check because what if there’s someone in there?

 

And there is no silver lining for us 

This world has socialised girls to expect this type of behaviour

To copy it like a routine

Because doing any less means

“You’re asking for it” and

“You should have covered up” and

“If you knew it could happen why didn’t you prevent it?”

Like we could have stopped you on your hate spree

 

We see TV shows and warnings online about the girls who weren’t as lucky as us

Who you’ve followed home and assaulted and who you’ve scared

And who you’ve beaten down and killed who haven't been spared from you

I wonder who taught you this?

Who would let you go out and terrorize little girls who aren’t even old to have their first kiss?

 

Why do you feel the need to make us feel like we need to support you when you’re down because

Your presence around me makes me uncomfortable and I know other women are uncomfortable by you

When you follow us home out of view

And watch us walk past you like we're a free-for-all

And wolf-whistle and catcall

 

Why can’t you leave us alone because we don’t owe you our bodies

You don't get the keys

To our hearts and you're not clever

Or whatever you think you are

When you stop us on our way home because

You’re just another run of the mil scumbag that

We’ve all seen before – gotta get home before dark, no time to chitchat –

That we no longer bat an eyelash at because who would when it happens to everyone?

 

You’ve found ways to control us with our guilt

For being so utterly “useless” through the government that you built

To oppress us like we’re a plaything

You make us have your offspring

So that you can make

Little monsters in your wake

That grow up to bully us and the whole damn thing starts again

 

I’ve found that it’s not if you’ve been targeted but when and that’s what pains me

Because I still need to write just another feminist poem because even though hundreds of other feminist poems, rape speeches, sexual abuse stories have been read you’re still ignoring every

Single

One.

 

And the power has corrupted this world so much that the

Rapists gets off and the

Victims are the ones suffering

With a child they never wanted and nightmares for the rest of their lives

 

Any woman who reports sexual abuse is

More likely to be laughed at than listened to because out of the 100 sexual abuse crimes –

And this is only rhymes but –

Only 10 are even reported and only 3 get to court

You need to come to a halt and listen

Because you've made us feel like we deserve it and it's our fault

For being so goddamn human

That only 1 of these abuse crimes is likely to get a conviction

 

So lead the way with your new ideas, you young boys, your creative minds before the injustice ruins you

Show the world that change needs to happen any day now

Sack the old ways

Down with the outdated days

Rise up and show the world we will resist and reprint the rules

Because we are all around you

And we will not stop until we get through to you

Let's have a redo

This poem is about: 
Our world

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