The Collegian
Saturday, April 13, 2024

The Revenge of My Girlhood

<p><em>Graphic by The Collegian</em></p>

Graphic by The Collegian

“Since they deserve to [be] raped, I cannot concern myself with the pain rape causes them.” 

-Comment on an incel forum from the book “Men Who Hate Women: The Extremism Nobody is Talking About” by Laura Bates


Being subjected to the male gaze is the cruelest punishment.

I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy.

A visual and violent undressing rooted in the hatred and control of the female form.

An insufferable gut-wrenching form of malice.

The non-consensual otherization of “woman.”

The foulest form of consumption…

Being defined as “woman.” As “other” – rots my being from the inside out 

My liver is spoiling!!!

My rib cage exposed.

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“Get well soon,” they say, rather than demanding my liberation.

Womanhood is an unforgiving pit in my stomach

Torturing me with unattainable standards; an itch I can never scratch

It holds more weight than all the Bratz and Barbies on the market

It’s deeper than the color pink and having a pussy

More than high heels and housework.

Makeup and motherhood.

Being “woman” is perpetual subjugation rooted in the normalization of falsehoods

A depressing imagined reality

Doing more and earning less

Being gaslit for having realistic expectations.

Patriarchy positions me as ungrateful for all that has been done to destroy me

Perpetually preventing me from being considered an equal

I am forever grateful to human anatomy for graciously affording me 7 layers of skin 

Because the outermost has long been tainted.

It must be scrubbed, wrung out and reapplied daily in order to reckon with the amount of misogynistic propaganda that seeps under it daily

I must put on my brave face to exist within this male-dominated reality.

“Bottom of the barrel.”

A phrase coined in the 1700s often used in a similar context to “man.”

The subject and the subjugator

A sorry excuse for someone endlessly yearning for the domination of my other

A grotesque assertion of power upholding systems of emotional unintelligence

States of delusion disguised as truth

“Be a man.”

Fuck off and grow up!

Every morning I must apply the appropriate amount of armor for the task at hand 

Because all too often womanhood and victimhood are synonymous.

Sometimes this may be keeping an extra loose-fitting outfit in my bag to swallow any semblance of my figure.

Or a set of keys delicately positioned between my feminine fingers.

Or a text to a friend about my whereabouts.

Or the classic pepper spray and taser combo.

“Men used to go to war;” but regardless of anatomy every woman is born with fire in her womb

My womanhood is fed to me by a blonde bimbo in a hooters t-shirt

Shoveling fantasies of submission into my unsuspecting orifice

A recurring nightmare perpetuating dreams of docility

But does woman even exist?

My femininity is dangerous

Violent and over expired.

Do not attempt to over indulge because your perception of me is flawed.

I am not your girlfriend, maid or baby.

I am a girlboss.

Awaiting the moment I can spit on your grave

I am a bitch and I should “smile more.”

I am woman.

And I hold daggers in my heart.

I refuse my designation as a secondary being –

I am the main event

Tune in at 12 Eastern Standard Time.

I am a 21-year-old teenage girl with eyes full of longing.

A single mother experiencing chronic fatigue.

A grandmother whose body is expiring.

I dream of liberation while my rights are on trial –

I am every man's worst nightmare.


“The most mediocre of males believes himself a demigod next to women.” 

– “The Second Sex” (1949) by Simone de Beauvoir


Contact Notes from the Margin Editor Jaize Francis at jaize.francis@richmond.edu

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