Did You Know?
Did you know? That there are rules given to women by men.
Did you know? That to love yourself means you’re conceited and to hate yourself means you’re seeking attention.
Did you know? That if you haven’t had sex, you’re a prude, and if you have, you’re a slut.
Did you know? That speaking your opinion means you are a ‘shouty feminist’ and if you don’t, then you are old fashioned.
Did you know? If you dress ‘like a boy’ then you must be a lesbian and if you dress to your womanly figure that means ‘you are asking for it’.
Did you know? That you have to wait for a boy to ask to date you. You can’t ask him. That’s weird.
Did you know? That you’re a paradox.
Did you know? How difficult it is to be a woman in a man’s world.
Didn’t you know?
Why didn’t they tell you when you were five?
Warn you to never speak and never think and never question them.
Them that taunt you and tease you and never please you.
Why didn’t your mother warn you?
That your birth given name didn’t mean anything.
Because it was only temporary precaution used,
Until they came and crossed it out to write over it with a label.
Mum says only girls get these labels.
Dad says only boys are allowed to use these labels.
These swearing words which describe us.
‘It’s unladylike to swear,’ I got told by my Dad when I learnt the word, shit, from Josh at school.
I said, ‘But Josh is allowed to say it.’
‘Well, he’s not my daughter,’ dad said.
I’m still not allowed to swear,
or sit with my legs open,
You aren’t allowed to either.
Didn’t you know?
We can’t have normality if we want to be ‘liked.’
Mum said Josh called me shit because he likes me,
I asked why does he like me?
And she said because you are becoming a proper lady.
I should have asked why does ‘shit’ mean he likes me?
I got given a box for my 5th birthday,
Dad said I had to make sure I could always fit in the box.
It was spacious was when I was five,
But I’ve grown a lot now and it hurts to squeeze my body into it.
Limbs curled up,
My little brother got a football for his 5th birthday.
I remember at his birthday party,
Dad told him, ‘Don’t throw like a girl.’
I sat in my box that night,
throwing socks against the wall,
Wondering if I threw like a girl.
I keep my box under the bed now,
Dragging it out whenever Dad walks in the door.
When he isn’t home I sit slouched on the chairs in the garden smoking.
When my parents aren’t watching, I sit in my room looking in the mirror,
to see how I look with my legs open.
Sometimes I run the shower and don’t get in.
I listen to the way my tongue rolls as I say, ‘Fuck you, cunt.’
I won’t tell Dad about these things until I’m bigger.
Didn’t he know? That I wasn’t going to play by his rules.