Wallpaper Women There is a woman that speaks of feminism, At a place where her counterparts don’t want to listen. She is a triple homicide of being black, a woman, And armed with an opinion.
The audience: a pelagic of rape jokes and snapbacks and Styrofoam cups and me. They gawk: at her mouth like it is a drain clogged with too many opinions. They believe: She should be the one keeping her mouth shut, Unless they’re the ones putting something in it.
As not all men are accustomed to the roaring flames and the eyes of storms. As not all men are used to things that they cannot tame nor control. This house is for wallpaper women. What good is wallpaper that speaks? I want to stand up and join her, but if I do, whose coffee table silence will these boys rest their feet on? I want to stand up and join her, but if I do, what if everyone notices I believe in what she says too? Once, I told a boy I was powerful and he told me to mind my own business. Once, a boy accused me of practicing misandry. ‘You think you can take over the world?’ And I said No: I just want to see it.
I just need to know it is there for someone. Once, my dad informed me sexism is dead and reminded me to always carry pepper spray in the same breath. We accept this state of constant fear as just another part of being female. We wear out our battery-operated smiles and solar powered confidence, as this is just another part of being female. We text each other when we get home safe, as this is just another part of being female. We are raw meat in a slaughterhouse. We are surrounded by boys who hang up our naked posters yet if a womans body Was to be seen by too many men, She would be disregarded.
We are surrounded by boys who like to cry whore the loudest, Yet they are the ones who are thirstiest for our blood. We are surrounded by boys who believe our love only starts to matter and stops being make-believe, a fantasy when they’re watching lesbian porn. We are daughters to men who exhorted us about the missing girls on the news at 6pm and the dangerous edge of the world. They implored us to be careful. They implored us to be safe. Then commanded our brothers to go out and play.