Before I could walk
I learned to talk
But I didn’t learn to speak my own words
I learned to care what others heard
And what they thought I was
I learned to rhyme and tell time and sit and behave
I learned to act in a girlish “damsel” way
Cross my legs, close my mouth, open my ears,
I learned to be nice was to bottle away all my fears.
I was taught that “tough” was only for boys
I was taught that I could only partake in feminine joys
I was taught so many “right” things that were wrong all along
But still I sang to the tune of their song
Never once questioning why
Until… I did.
I began to wonder, and ponder, and ruminate, and beg
Until I realized that what I’ve got between my legs
Was the big problem
As if that made me less?
My heart became a mess,
And I began to question everything I knew.
Should I be weak?
Should I be meek?
Should I be anything they want?
Should I please them?
Should I act dim?
Should I let them taunt…
I never had that word in my thoughts before,
Always assuming that by myself I’d be a bore,
But there I stood, unlearning everything
Questioning my very being
Wondering if maybe I could be me
I wondered who I was,
And the answers came to me, all abuzz:
Independent, defiant, liberal, kind!
Intelligent, driven, a waste of no one’s time!
Altruistic, artistic, musically gifted!
Silly, Funny, my spirit is lifted!
My voice, my words,
Never before did I think they could be heard
And never again will I shut my mouth
Never again will my words freeze and not come out
No matter what they taught me to be
No one will teach me how to be me
No one can tell me to be a certain way
And if they try, I’ll tell them to watch me misbehave
I learned who I was without those limits
Without worries or cares of what being a girl inhibits
I learned to walk with my head held high
I learned to walk with a proud, long stride
Truth be told, I love all that I am
And if you don’t like that, I just don’t give a damn.