Bitch, slut, whore, cunt? A deep fear of being too feminine was instilled in me and those words were woven into the fabric that tailored the objectification of my female form. My body was seen as inappropriate, as if I was exhibiting some hidden behavior that offended everyone and as a result I was handed an undeserving punishment for being the wrong gender.
We were lectured on the proper way to be female, the rules selfishly written by men. We were groomed to be weak, not because it was safe, not because it was a benefit to us, but because they were afraid. And we thought if we wore the same costume we’d be looked at as equal, but the truth that stares us so blankly in the face is, we aren’t equal and we aren’t meant to be.
Underneath this skin we’re the same machine, but on the outside we’re shamed for being different. Girls are taught to cover up, dress down, be humble, be meek, and stay quiet. “You don’t want that kind of attention!” Look at what we’ve become. We follow corporate dress codes that strip us of our femininity, while millions of dollars are made from the exploitation of our bodies by those same people who tell us to blend in.
Those of us brave enough to stand out, to paint themselves brightly with the feminine qualities they’ve been given are slut shamed. They try to keep us subdued by condemning us for being sexual creatures, for being desirable and confident. They tell us our beauty will show from within while surfing porn sites like it’s religion. They don’t care about the message they’re sending.
They teach us that embracing our bodies and showing off our feminine form is too dangerous, but who is it we’re afraid of? You’ve sexualized our gender and I’m done playing your game. You wear your entitlement like a suit, gaining power from some false inner strength while we all know you’re just a scared little boy who lusts after our bodies when the lights are dim.
I’m not afraid of my body, I’m not ashamed of my breasts, I’m not embarrassed by the feminine allure I possess and I’m done covering up. I will no longer willingly hand you the control, this is my body and I’m proud of the power it holds. I love that I can walk through a room and turn heads, I love that I hold that kind of power over someone who looks down on me until we’re behind closed doors. You don’t own me, you don’t own any of us and we’re growing tired of your possessive nature.
I love my body, I love the feel of my naked skin. I’m a sexual being and I long for the same things you do, lust after the same sensations and crave the same flavor of passion. I have no shame in who I am and I won’t cover myself to fit in with your agenda.
Every sunrise, each sunset has been shared with you in one way or another. You’re gone from my arms, but you’re never far from my mind. I just have to close my eyes and I’m with your ghost and as cold as the memories may feel, my heart is warmed by your smile for a moment.
I see you there, in the glass. We’re reaching out for one another, but never touch. You’re curious of who I’ve become and I wonder if we’re still the same.
What’s behind your smile? I wonder if you feel as foreign to your world as I do of mine. Have you been able to find yourself after feeling so lost?
It’s just an escape, a place to go when we don’t want to live in our thoughts anymore. We numb ourselves so we don’t have to face that person in the mirror. But what is it we’re numbing ourselves from? We’re not even living.
“Where does one go?”, she wondered, scanning her eyes over the twinkling stars hanging from the black canvas above, “where does one go when they want to be alone?”
There’s so much noise here, so much to see, so much to hear, too much. I feel lost in all of this useless stimulation and my mind screams for silence. I feel lost in how easily I’m found, chained by the offer of freedom, tied to the promise of more.
Often, I wonder if you see the sunrise the same way you saw it when we were holding each other. Do you remember how the sun warmed your skin while the flavor of our kiss lingered?
Do you think of me on late night drives while the wind runs through your hair, the way my fingers used to? We counted those stars once, and they lit up the sky for us.
I love when you smile at me, but your mind is with someone else. Your eyes continue to search for them and I know you weren’t ready to let go when they left.
Love, they’re gone and I’m here now. I’m here for you, when you’re ready. I’ve waited most of my life to see my smile reflect in your eyes and now that I’ve held you I can’t just walk away.
How do I learn to forget, when this pain tears at my confidence?
Inside I’m dying because I can’t help but wonder, did you make her laugh, too?
Did she feel the warmth of your hand on the small of her back the way I did? Did you whisper those same secrets, the ones you said were meant for me?
I earned my place here. I fought for your love. I put in the time. She offered nothing more than I had already given. Still, you embraced her.
She was shiny and new, newer than me. Our love was worn. I was there through your struggle. I put in the work and she got the reward.
Now we sleep in separate beds, in separate rooms in separate houses. I hate how I still cry for you. I hate that you were so weak.
I’m broken because I loved. I’m broken, and I knew all along. I knew you. I stayed despite the warning signs, and now I’m empty.
But not as empty as you. My soul remains. And yours?
You left it sleeping in her bed.
I think sometimes you forget that I’m here, you forget that I’m not an extension of you. You forget that I have my own mind, heart and soul.
Sometimes I think you don’t realize how much your words hurt me. I know you hear them as they fall out of your mouth and you feel justified in saying those things, but they still echo in my mind long after you’ve laid them to rest.