Understanding

Location

Yes, you're my brother and I understand

Your curiosity is innocent; so I'll tell you 

In a way best fit for me to get my message

Across this sea of difference to your understanding

 

I was six, and I wasn't allowed to play with you

In the dark of the street just in front of the house

You would run and explore, but I was left to watch

From my perch on the porch, jealous but understanding

 

I was ten, and I wasn't allowed to walk down the street

To the liquor store in the corner, not without you

And by then you were older and all the precautions of a sister

Made you leave me at home, without understanding

 

I was thirteen and strangers on the street would prattle

Give little wolf-whistles and unsavory glances; I was still

A young teen, not even into High School, and I couldn't walk home

From the bus stop without this bitter understanding

 

I was fifteen and boys in school would taunt 

A "girl" who was a a little too smart and say wicked things

A teen who wanted to be treated like an equal

But would be robbed of ideas and tossed aside, cruelly understanding

 

It didn't matter what age I was, or whether I was at school or 

Walking down the street. I was born into hyper-awareness and equipped with

The survival instincts of mistrust and observation the minute they said

"It's a girl!" because this is a man's world, and even as a child I am not safe

And so we are born knowing instinctively, and reluctantly understanding

 

So, to those who say a woman whines for equality

To those who say women are simply playing "victim"I say:

 

Tell that to the six year old who couldn't play with her friends

Tell that to the ten year old who couldn't walk down the street

Tell that to the thirteen year old that just wanted to walk home

Tell that to the fifteen year old that just wanted to speak in class

 

Because she was born in your world, understanding

That to be born a female, to be a woman is to be called

A "girl" your whole life, being looked down on as a child, and never be safe

 

(Tell that to the women in the world that are born victimized

By a society that says you are not safe, never safe, never walk alone

And the best protection is to walk with a man, and continue to feed

Into this fear-based social norm that we as women are never safe)

 

So I know you're curious, and because you're family

I'll sum it up with this:

Think about being born with fear ingrained into you

That every man that  walks down the street may be an aggressor

That the stranger that gives you a compliment

Is dangerous

That every night you walk on the street

Is a day you may not come home

That being born the way you are

Has made you paranoid of the world

That asking to be treated equally

Is still an issue

 

And that's how it feels to be a woman, 

Everyday of my life until the day I die

(Fighting to be human in an inhumane world

In your world)

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