I’ve always been told 

To watch what I eat 

To go out and excercise

To improve upon my body 

To wear appropriate clothes 

Modest and unrevealing 

Leaving others to wonder 

But what frustrates me the most 

Is when someone compares me to the 

Entire female gender 

I didn’t know my physical exterior 

Was a part of a competition 

That couldn’t be won

What frustrates me the most 

Is when i am told that my efforts 

Are in vain

I am told:

I have to save my virtue 

For a Man  

I have to save the best aspects of 

My body, my aspirations, and my dignity 

To be put in a union

That is not equal

My culture teaches me that 

Women should be in servitude 

No matter their education 

No matter their accolades

And every choice that a 

Woman makes for herself 

Is just considered an opinion

I have been taught not to sexualize myself

Through my body or my mannerisms 

To be chaste and pure 

But that earns me much disgrace from 

The people of my own gender 

They call me a prude 

And they wonder why I don’t 

Move past this supposed 

Gilded cage that I’m inside.

I tell you I was not forced into

Any cage

And everything I have made

Whether it be my fashion choices

My weight or my body shape

Is up to my choice 

It is not up to your opinion 

It is not for a man’s pleasure 

It is not to belittle other women 

Or to make them feel inferior

No, I am my own person 

With my own hopes and dreams 

I can be my own boss

I can make my own decisions

And I can love myself 

And I can love others 

Let’s please stop then.

My fellow women please stop shaming me

My humanity is at stake and so is yours

Men please stand beside me 

I ask for nothing more 


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