When I Was Five, You Put a Doll in My Hands
When I was five, you put a doll in my hands.
Should I take care of her mum?
Is this what everybody expects from me, mum?
Will I be a good girl if I do, mum?
She was my best friend but she became my oppressor. I realized I will never have her fair skin, her straight blonde hair, her thin waist and her generous breasts, her thin legs and her curvy ass, mum.
Is this what they are training me for? Taking care of others?
Is this why you are crying, mum?
Is anyone taking care of you, mum?
Since dad left are you too busy to take care of the bills to take care of yourself, mum?
Or is it because it is too hard to build your career, take care of the kids and still be hot for those men, mum?
Does that make you a feminist, mum? A feminist or an anti-man woman, mum?
Will I also have to hate them, mum?
First, I will hate me.
I will hate myself because I do not look like Barbie.
I will not have confidence because in the streets they are staring at me
At me, or what they say makes me a woman
My flesh, that's only what I am to those men
Because I am meat, I am a delicious meal
I only exist if I am visually pleasing
But if I dare to be too pretty
They will definitely punish me
But it's my fault mum I shouldn't wear that skirt
I will shave my head off to free myself from their narrow definition of my femininity
I will hide my body so that they will stop cat calling as if it was a compliment to me
Maybe I should do like Daphne and beg my Father to turn me into a tree
Maybe they will finally stop looking at me
But like Trump said about Hilary
I am nasty
Like the blood stains on my sheets every month
I should feel disgusted I should feel the pain and shut up
That's why they tax my pads and tampons but not Viagra and Rogaine, mum
They should never be impotent, mum
They are just too important, mum.
I will search for validation where there is none,
I will look at commercials and recognize myself in none,
I will try to develop self confidence but will be put down every time I am a bit too loud until I have none.
I will work twice as hard to have half as much, mum,
But they told me I should be happy with what I was given, mum.
Can you tell them that we were given nothing?
The women before me had to fight for everything
They fought to get me into that voting booth and to open a bank account without his permission
And all of that I have now so I should stop yelling, sit down and listen
My life is easy now
Even if I am paid less than them
I can work now
Even though they know this pill makes me depressed
I can choose to have a baby now
And I will
Because I am a woman, mum.
I am a woman.
Maybe I should feel ashamed, mum.
Of my weak body, my weak mind, mum.
Remember we were created from man's rib,
Maybe I should remind them that they come from our pussies, mum.
But not too loud, mum.
That could make them angry.
You once told me “who needs a man when you are a woman”
Then should I be embarrassed when I evoke a man's presence
So that they would stop provoking my womanly essence
I am just a girl who happened to grow up,
I am just a woman but these whole gender expectations are starting to eat me up
I am just a human but I am less than them.
I am a human but deep inside I am afraid of them.
Like this poem? Thank Elia.
Elia is a human living in Berlin trying to figure it out, but she mostly writes about feelings. You can subscribe for free to her weekly emails by sending her an email here: email@example.com