When I Was Little

December 23, 2017
By Anonymous

When I was little, I thought I was lucky to be a woman. I wouldn’t get drafted for war.
Now that I know better, I don’t say that anymore.

When I was young, I thought I was lucky to be a woman. Women could wear dresses and pants, men couldn’t do both!
Now that I know better, I don’t say that anymore.

When I was naive, I thought I was lucky to be a woman. I would never be told that I “fought like a girl”.
Now that I know better, I don’t say that anymore.

When I opened my eyes, I thought I was lucky to be a woman. Nobody would call me a “pussy”.
Now that I know better, I don’t say that anymore.

When I was less young, I thought I was lucky to be a woman. I laughed with my teacher. He said that girls were smarter at the age and boys were “knuckleheads”.
Now that I know better, I don’t say that anymore.

When I was dreamier, I thought I was lucky to be a woman. Men were responsible for asking us out and earning our favor and love.
Now that I know better, I don’t say that anymore.

When I was wiser, I realized that I was a woman in a patriarchal world, a world run by men. And for all the things I once said, I don’t say them anymore.

Because when I was older, I realized I had once equated war with death. But even if it was death, what more is living a life of oppression and silence?

Because when I was older, I wish someone had told me that women could get blamed for wearing dresses too. And a closet filled with dresses having no turn to walk down the alleyway, especially at dark, is useless.

Because when I was older, I wish someone would have told me the reason was that I wasn’t told I fought like a girl was because men equated everything about women with the word “WEAK”.

Because when I was older, I learned that the dictionary, from the moment of my birth, had already defined me as a “pussy”, or that anything relating to a woman become derogatory.
Because when I was older, I hated that no one told me that the world hated female voices but still loves fools. No one told me that the world had set a limit for my intelligence before I could grow into it. No one told me that I’d spend the rest of my life hearing how superior men were to me in every way. No one told me to cherish that moment more, because it was the only time I’d ever hear anything positive.

Because when I was older, I learned from my own experience that to them I was a mere prize to be won, a trophy to hang off the arm. I learned I was a simple product to be marketed as people shoved makeup brushes and flashy clothes into my arms and told me to make myself useful.

Because when I was older, I stopped assuming and started looking. I stopped concluding and started wondering.

What are the rape statistics in the military? What happens to women who are captured?

Why is it demeaning for a man to like feminine things, why is everything feminine demeaning?

Why are women placed on a demure pedestal while men are encouraged to forge ahead?

Why do people threaten me by claiming I’ll never find a husband? Why does my life revolve around a man and a future family? Why does my life end whenever I start a family?

Why is it that women are associated with weak? Why is it that our bodies are sexualized and our faces blurred to mean nothing? Why is it that we can’t walk down the sidewalks alone at night or go to the bathroom alone? Why is it that if we drink, everything that happens to us gets blamed on us and if they drink, their mistakes are excused?

Why is it that I’m never going to hear I’m smart or athletic without hearing the phrase “for a girl” after it? Why is there such a division between the expected performances of the sexes?

Why don’t I have a voice? Why don’t we have a voice?

Why isn’t it acceptable for men to cry?

Why can’t I be loud, bold, adventurous?

Why isn’t my body mine?

Why is gender inequality an issue when every man has a mother and a wife and perhaps a daughter? When every man knows a woman and every woman knows a man?

I am not old, I am not wise, but I am not young. I’m growing, and I have so many questions but not enough answers.



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