I am sick of the smiling, the politeness, and the “oh wow, that’s so interesting.”
I am sick of knowing that once the sun goes down, my guard has to go up.
I hate that I cannot take certain trains alone at night, just so that I can try to stay a little safer.
I hate that we think having a man with us automatically makes us “safe;”
It’s ironic that the thing we need protection from also seems to be the only thing that can protect us.
We are all so damn strong, and I am sick of having to pretend like we are not.
We are not delicate little flowers who will snap at the first sign of danger;
We are tumultuous rivers and brazen waves just trying to take back what has always been ours.
A woman should be able to walk down the street and not have to worry about a man trying to touch her.
A woman should be able to have a conversation without it ending in, “Can I take you to dinner some time?”
Do you ask every man that you talk to if you can take them out for a drink?
Do you tell every one of your guy friends that how hot they look today every time that you see them?
I didn’t think so.
Then tell me why you have to treat the women in your life this way?
If a woman rejects your advances, she automatically becomes a bitch.
As if I should be falling at the feet of every male who gets up the courage to whisper, “Damn,” under his breath every time I walk by.
It isn’t a compliment. It’s torture.
But to you, a compliment isn’t you hitting on us.
No, no, no, a compliment is just you stating the facts.
If a woman is beautiful and you notice, you have to tell her because that is who she is.
I wish those words were not ones that I have heard before, but they are.
Our beauty is who we are?
As if our souls and minds are nothing.
As if our bodies are something more than just the keeper of who we really are.
When was the last time you saw a woman for who she really was?
When was the last time you admired her for her spirit or her intellect instead of the fact that she is physically attractive?
Is there even a last time?
We are not man-haters here to destroy your perfect little “American Dream.”
We just need you to realize that we are not all aspiring towards the same dream.
Let those of us who want to soar do so.
You have no idea how far all of us are capable of going.
It isn’t fair that I have to plan my commute around when certain men will not be on our shared trains.
I should not have to worry about the way that I dress on the weekends when there are less people around to “protect” me.
I shouldn’t need someone’s protection just to get to work.
I wish I did not have to decide which one of the men giving me unwanted attention this week is more bearable to be around for the duration of my train ride.
I wish they did not feel like they could touch you and that you don’t notice the way their hand lingers just a little too long in a handshake or the way their eyes always fall just a little too low.
I wish I didn’t have to reject the same person multiple times, only to know that they will never stop trying.
I wish being nice wasn’t synonymous with flirting.
And sometimes, I wish I could just shut it all down without having to worry about the repercussions.
It must be so nice to never have to worry about the repercussions.
You have always been free,
And we have always been fighting.
And I am not so sure that we will ever see the day where the tables are turned.
You asked me for “poetic justice,” and I know this isn’t what you meant.
But I told you I would write about you,
And I always keep my promises.