There I said it, I’m tired of this

do you think women like it when
you hurl verbal abuse about on the street
as if it’s a stroke of foreplay,

’cause it’s not a complement to call me beautiful when
the last syllable you spit is b*tch.

just because we share different anatomy and gender identities
doesn’t make me the freak
nor you the other
I’m not a strange creature
for you to pry open and dissect

I am a human being,
did the elephant man teach us nothing?
Maybe it’s because he too was turned into a commodity,

and I don’t think Emily Pankhurst
endured incarceration
and starvation
for a girl to be harrassed
on the street
over one-hundred years later.

See, uncertainty must
breed open-mindedness
so that the space between our eyes
can absorb more intricate observations,

not to merely squark at everything we see

so why,
you ask,
is it so ingrained in women to not speak up?

See women are too often taught
to quieten down
and keep to themselves
to be delicate, pretty flowers.

Well fuck that.

Ugh, I wish I were so brave,
but I just sat there and turned away
and thanked the universe that my stop was up next on the tram,
when a man started puckering his lips at me
and commenting on the waves in my hair
and the tightness of my jeans,

Why didn’t I first curse the universe
for some mens’ self-entitlement to harrass women in public
for their own amusement
and to mark their sense of territory upon unsanctioned land,

I was screaming inside but
I tried so hard not say a word,
to not squirm or shift
or show any sign of discomfort,
like a catch twenty-two,
it would’ve only encouraged him,

I’m pretty damn tired of this,
it shouldn’t be okay
simply because it happens every day,

why do I have to be constantly objectified
by strangers and
billboards and
TV presenters,
prodded and poked by
wolf whistles and sexist slurs
and expected to swallow
the hollers as if they are
necessary obstacles on the footpath,

these are not
necessary obstacles
on any
footpath,

trying to make women less than human,
just because these strategies worked ten, twenty, one-hundred years ago
to sell products, pass laws and push wars,

and it’s safe to perpetuate
such polarised thinking,
of women as objects
as objects as women,
Less feeling, less thinking,
less of a being,
especially when big money is on the table,
well, it’s not working the way it used to,

money cannot come before humanity
if this world is to stay afloat,
and we cannot teach
the next and the next
and the next
generation of men
what women are to them
and polarising genders against each other,

I am not the freak, you are not the other.

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