No, do not tell me to “smile pretty” for you - as if all I covet are your winks and stares creeping up the hem of my skirt and winding a hand down my throat to
take hold of my soul. I don’t need affirmation that I am worth something in the
form of catcalls and whistles piercing the core of my security; I know I amount to more than the sickly sweet words that escape your mouth all because you
don’t know how to coat your heart and conscience with respect and the same
dust of sugar on your tongue.
No means no, but somehow the clouds in your muddled, drunken head have clogged up any sense of reason left in you and all that remains is a creature unable to tell the difference between disgust and consent. She certainly wasn’t laughing when you chained her wrists and freedom with one hand and grasped her neck with the other, but did you really think she would stay silent forever?
Do not pack us up and attempt to smooth out our rough edges in order to make more room for yourselves - We don’t have space. Not when we are constantly choking on the definitions of be confident and be careful because somewhere along the lines of cold sidewalks and dagger touches, we find ourselves losing the perception of the difference between these two words both starting with c but end up starting different storms of chain events.
Do not teach us to bind our words up the way you rendered her helpless before you - we are not our own slaves and if you want entertainment you can start with trying to flush your own impurity down the valleys of your ribcage instead of swinging beer cans and hollering tangled jeers.
Understand that we are not fragile beings you can trample over and move onto a new garden thereafter; we are proof of how the dirt and standards you gagged us with will be washed away when the rain of a new day comes, and we are more than mere displays scattered carelessly upon a mantelpiece. Treat us with the courtesy we deserve because we are not trophies for you to show off and shine before pushing us backstage. We will not be contained by the taunts you brandish at us hoping to egg a response from between our already sealed lips-
This is what we’re fighting and raging against: 1) glass bodies: we will not
allow ourselves to shatter at your expense 2) cupboard hearts: we are not porcelain dolls to be regarded with amusement 3) feather prints on floorboards that shake: we will refuse to tiptoe across the souls of all we used to be because there’s no shame in looking back on the past 4) faded voices: just because you’re indecisive and cannot decide how to treat us doesn’t mean we’ll let the bruises and broken tears slide.
Loh Lin is currently in 8th grade, and is not enjoying school very much. She believes that feminism is needed to eliminate patriarchy and sexism, and has faith that there is more good than hurt in the world.