Pocket-Sized Feminism By Blythe Baird Poem by Scott Sims

Pocket-Sized Feminism By Blythe Baird

The only other girl at the party
Is ranting about feminism.
The audience, a sea of rape jokes and
Snapbacks and styrofoam cups and me.
They gauche at her mouth
Like it is a drain clogged with too many opinions.
I shoot her an empathetic glance
And say nothing.

I want to stand up, but if i do
Whose coffee table silence
Will these boys rest their feet on?
I want to stand up but,
What if someone takes my spot?
I want to stand up but if I do,
What if everyone notices i've
Been sitting this whole time.

Once, I forgave a predator because i was
Scared to start drama in our friend group.
Two weeks later, he assaulted someone else.
I'm still carrying the guilt in my purse.
There are days that I forget that we had to invent
Nail Polish to change color in drugged drinks
And apps to virtually walk us home
And lipstick shapedmase
And underwear designed to prevent rape.

Once, a man behind me at an escalator
Shoved his hand up my skirt from behind
And no one around me said anything,
So i didn't say anything
Because I didn't want to make a scene.
Once, an adult made a necklace
Out of his hands for me;
And I still wake up in hot sweats,
Haunted with the herd of girls he assaulted
after i didn't report him.
How am I to forgive myself
For doing nothing in the mouth of trauma.
But isn't silence an act of violence too?

We are forced to accept that the state of constant fear
That it's just another component of being a girl.
We text each other when we get home safe
And it does not occur to us that
Not all of our guy friends have to do the same.
You could literally saw a woman in half
And it would still be called a magic trick.
That's why you invited us here isn't it?
because there is no show
Without a beautiful assistant.
We are surrounded by boys
Who hang up our naked posters
And fantasize about choking us
And watch movies that we get murdered in.
I'm ashamed of keeping my feminism
In my pocket until it is convenient not to! ! ! ! !

But We are still the daughters of men who
Warned us about the girl on the side of the milk carton,
the sharp edge of the world.
And begged us to be safe.
Then told our brothers to go out and play.

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