Woman is your choice but not mine

I am more than the sum of my parts
But these parts make a whole
So it bemuses me when you consume me
When you claim my selfhood for your own
You imitate my exterior
Even when it marks me as inferior
The make-up you don with pride
Has always been my attempt to hide
To fit in to blend in to shield myself from those who say
I do not live up to my gender expectations
But those rules, they restrict me. They bind me
I cannot breathe for them but you–
You embrace them and hold them against your chest
You turn them into law and use them to hurt us
With these rules you call yourself more woman than I
But what is a woman to you–what is womanhood?
A collection of things from the part of the store
You never went to before
And experiences collected while wearing someone else’s body,
You invent a word for and designate it worse
Than the things that have happened to women and girls
It is not people with female bodies killing you
Though it is people with male bodies killing us
If you recognized the real enemy
Maybe we could fight together
But I am different from you and I need space away
From someone who volunteered into the oppression
That stifles and and assaults me every day
That rapes and wounds me
That weakens and defeats me
Because gender is the patriarchy in practice and I did not choose it
You did and I will never understand why
I need, at times, a distance from people claiming that to become a woman
Is beautiful and natural and feels so right
When to be a woman for me is to be disbelieved and hated and given a worth
Bought and sold
Raped in girlhood, in marriages, for money, on camera, all our lives
So now I beg though I’ve done so to deaf ears before
Give me room to hate and rage against
What you chose for yourself
And hold up as god.

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