Not For You

the words ring out

you would be pretty

if you smiled

sorry to tell you

that those words

will never make a woman

grin or laugh with joy

at the thought

of pleasing you

and your base desire

to see us as objects

moldable to your will

pretty is as pretty does

and we are beautiful

even when we frown

because our worth

is not defined

by the number of teeth

we show the world

our grins are born

from moments of true joy

we beam only

for those we love

our laughter is sacred

and you are not worthy

of its melody

so if a smile is what you need

put one on yourself

and leave our expressions

to unfold as they will

in their time

and of our choosing


In my early teens I was vulnerable and naive enough to be flattered when I was catcalled for the first time. The media had its way with my young mind and I thought that that attention was something worth having. It wasn’t, and it isn’t. It took me until I was out of high school before realizing how wrong those situations were. I hope young girls now are smarter than I was. I hope they realize that the grown men calling to them from the top of roofs or out of the windows of cars are predatory animals and not worth acknowledging.

To any person reading, know this. Your are as worthy of respect as you are the air you breathe. Your body does not exist for the pleasure of another and your smile is a pure expression of joy, or a sign of danger, or however else you want to use it. Your beauty is in your ideals, your dreams, your loves. Never let anyone make you believe otherwise. Never let your expression of self be dictated by anyone else. You belong to yourself and however you want to show that to world is up to you, and only you.

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