Self-Respecting Woman

I am a self-respecting woman.
I look people in the eye when I talk
I give my honest opinions
I say no when I don’t want offers
I say yes to opportunities
I paint until my fingers chap
And I receive my awards with both hands

I am a self-respecting woman.
And my friends are self-respecting women
But you see, we were self-respecting women in uniforms,
when she was felt up in Daiso
when she was getting tuition
when he followed her off the bus
when he took pictures
when we sat during recess
and he flashed us from the other side of the fence

We were self-respecting women,
when we approached the nearest adults
when they lowered our hemlines
and pulled our skirts over our eyes

I am a self-respecting woman,
Because I, first and foremost, respect myself
And I will not heed your Well-Meaning Advice,
when you have your hand up my shorts,
and your eyes on my neck.

 

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