We are the girls whose father’s tell us,
“wearing a dress while walking alone
in the city is more dangerous than
driving without a seat belt.”
We are the girls who are taught that
saying sorry after no is our protection
instead of the pocket knife or pepper spray.
Being polite is the only shield we’ll have to offer.
We are the girls who must rid our spaghetti
straps and V-necks on hot days, because simple
minded boys can’t seem to control their
“sexual desires” when seeing bare skin
on the shoulders and back.
We are the girls who are expected to be
smart, but not too smart because we’ll
not be seen as sexy to the male eyes.
“She must have a pretty face behind
that book she’s buried in.”
We are the girls who must add, “please.”
Before asking someone not to touch us,
as if we are asking permission instead
of giving demand.
We are the girls whose principal insists
to look at what we are wearing, “what do
you expect? Boys will be boys.”