A poem for International Women’s Day

I am a feminist; I believe in equality for all,
I hope for a better world,
but sometimes I hate mankind.

I don’t look the part:
I have shaven legs and high-heeled boots,
a mini-skirt, and kohl rimmed eyes;
strangers’ stares crawl across my skin
but still I stand before the mirror
and scour the fat from my body.

I don’t sound the part:
I say ‘yes’ more often than ‘no,’
while the leers cake my skin like dirt,
but my rage lingers behind soft words,
and I hide my hurt with a smile.

I don’t act the part:
I’m not fighting the glass ceiling,
or tearing down walls,
I’m not a lioness that roars
but a tamed cat that purrs.

I don’t treat you like I should:
I bear your weight with mine, pushing you up,
even when I can’t find my feet,
I nourish your heart and water your ego,
giving to you what I deny myself.

I don’t feel like I should:
I’m not empowered, I’m not equal,
but used and discarded, and used again.
I look at this world and wonder what I see;
is this who I’m supposed to be?

Sometimes I hate humankind

I am a feminist, heading a long line of feminists—
mothers, sisters, and fighters all,
whose voices cry out
“is this all my sacrifices have wrought?”

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