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[Insert Scathingly Brilliant Title Here]
I fail spectacularly at journal titles...
9th-Feb-2017 10:03 am
Modern Times
No one realizes
Just how often
A woman has been told
To sit down and shut up.

Not always in words so bold
Or blunt
But always just as true

So much that it sounds like a cliche
Like a stereotype
They could not have literally said
"Girls can't do math"

Could they?

But they did
And it was with a chuckle like a joke
But it wasn't.

Play nicely.
Speak when spoken to
Sit still.
Don't talk too much
He'll lose interest in you.

Boys don't like smart girls
You scare them.
Maybe. Maybe not.
But I remember little Josh--small and dark-haired and cute
Grabbing my papers
And noting the score
And I would dread what followed

I was passed over for academic triathlon
Even with the top scores
It suited me fine
I was scared to speak up

After the initial socialization
More subtlety is afforded
As women grow from silent girls.

Repeat yourself in a meeting
Did you even speak at all.

You wonder if you're in a novel
A world of magical realism
Where your words are not spoken
But put into male mouths
As you hear the ideas you just said
Wiggle through praise into fruition

You write for a character
He is so refreshing
So honest
He says what's on his mind
He is loved.

The female character
Is bitchy
Is whiny
Is annoying.

The same words by the same writer
We don't do female characters anymore.

It's hard to be shocked
When a grown woman
Is told to sit down and shut up
Like a child
When it is what one has known from a child
In myriad ways

It happens again
Filling your vision with the blind rage of the powerless
Screaming into a void
That has been trained to ignore your voice.
9th-Feb-2017 04:34 pm (UTC)

Unless that gesture is considered paternalistic and condescending, in which I offer a slap on the back and a hearty handshake.

I think above all you'd prefer to be HEARD. THE FIRST TIME.
9th-Feb-2017 04:44 pm (UTC)
Ha! Knuckles, bro!

(I don't consider it paternalistic and condescending from friends. I consider it supportive. :)
9th-Feb-2017 06:08 pm (UTC)
Ka-PSSHHHHHH exploding mouth sounds ensuueee
13th-Feb-2017 12:44 am (UTC)
This is brilliant. Reminds me of the boys at school acting pissy because I did better than them.
15th-Feb-2017 03:00 pm (UTC)
Their pissyness *works* on a lot of girls--and they eventually just check out or step out or minimize their ability. Some don't, but a lot do. It's so angry-making.
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