Being a small woman in a masculine culture is a strange existence.
When men look at me, I see such a confusion in their eyes
As if they do not know whether to see me as a child, a woman, an object,
Or nothing at all.
It is said that women develop and mature before men do
A poor excuse used by many to justify the abhorrent
Actions of men young and old
What we are not told is that
the second you leave the womb
You are no longer in the safety of the of female body.
Your body is not your own anymore.
You catch the eye of those who want to leverage on vulnerability
Because what is more innocent and lovely than
The eyes of a woman is who is trying to understand the world?
At age 11 I was followed into the bathroom of a mall by a man.
The words “You hear me little girl? I’m following you”
Do not compare to the feeling of tightening in the chest
Stomach dropping and head spinning in confusion
This feeling that occurs all too often in womanhood
Feels like a punishment that will never go away.
Instincts are not to be trusted
In a world where a woman’s instincts do not matter.
We are stolen from an adolescence free of fear
Where we can cry, yell, and be dirty
And thrown into a womanhood where our choices are few
Our voices are silenced
Our abilities taken for granted
Our bodies objectified and abused
And our thoughts considered nothing more than a collection of fables.
Being small makes you see from the bottom
Where you started and where you will finish
The world of man forever looking down on you
So much that they never expect it
When you stand tall in the face of adversity
And show them that starting small and trusting your instincts
Is how we survive the tightening of the chest,
The stomach dropping and the head spinning enough to say
I do not fear you because you are bigger than me
I do not feel small because it is not a measure of power
I am not a little girl, I am a woman who will not
Have my soul be shaken by the weak hands of masculinity.