You say you don't trust any animal
that can bleed for seven days and
I've been bleeding for too long.
I've been hurting inside,
suffered abuse and oppression;
I have bled and stained my memories
and my heart.
I am still alive.
It is a woman's place to walk down empty roads at 4 a.m.,
to jump in puddles,
to laugh loud
to get drunk, whether it be on good wine,
poetry, laughter, sex, outdrinking the boys,
admiration, voice, life.
I am a feminist,
but that does not mean I will be ashamed to shave my legs,
my cunt, my armpits.
I will not be ashamed of wearing pink,
of liking lace
I will not feel shame for my naturally skinny body.
I will no longer feel the need to remind the world
that I am not anorexic.
I will ignore angry eyes
as I swallow three meals worth of food at once.
I will not allow myself any guilt, ever.
I have known love more than most can claim,
I have known love because I am unafraid
unafraid of seeming stupid
unafraid of reciting poems I have written from windowsills
unafraid of consequence;
I have taken leaps of faith,
I have chased the dragons of hopelessness
and came out in shining armor.
I am afraid of more than I let on; I am afraid of choking, losing my memory,
living a life without passion or love.
I am not Rapunzel, Cinderella, or Snow White.
If I want your help, I'll ask.
I will not be ashamed of the fact that I am physically weak,
that I can hardly lift a barbell,
but I am stubborn,
I am flexible,
and I am ruthless.
I will wrestle with the boys and I will win;
I'll tell them how to pleasure a woman,
I'll tell women how to pleasure themselves
and other women.
I have been angry. I spent a lot of time trying not to be angry.
The world told me that anger is bad. I realize now that repression
only breeds more anger. My anger will fuel my revolution.
I will fumble through my choices
and I will reject good advice
and give advice
and take advice, maybe even if it's too late.
I will live this life to the fullest,
and maybe I'll never sell a book,
and I'll probably come out scab-kneed, tired, and brokenhearted,
still, I will live this life, each moment of this life. Even if it's hard.
Especially if it's hard.
I will dance in the rain and swoon and giggle if I damn well please.
I am everything that is "girl"
and this girl can kick some ass if she has to.
Don't be suprised if I tell you to suck your own dick.
If I say, "Me first."
If I wrestle you to the floor in high heels
and perfect eyeshadow.
I will indulge in girltalk
and speak of revolution while painting my fingernails.
I will accept compliments
and be flattered by whistles and catcalls,
even as I'm shouting back
even as I grind their face into the dirt.
I will contradict myself and feel no shame.
I will stand tall and proud,
show my ass if I want to,
be a genius if I want to,
take the world by storm.
I am a woman,
I am everywoman,
I am no other woman but me.