Why I need Feminism

Because the worst thing you call a man is a girl.
Because in seventh grade I asked my mom why girls shave their legs and
she said it makes us feel clean.
Because I felt clean until she said that.
Because I shaved my legs for the first time that night.
Because of silk-sheet limbs in magazines.
Because the first thing you ask her is, What were you [not] wearing?
Because I hold my keys like fangs between my knuckles when I walk to my car at night.
Because you tell me I’d be safer if I stayed home.
Because red and green spices don’t interest me, and neither do cookbooks.
Because I don’t really want kids.
Because when I told you that, you asked, What if your husband wants kids?
Because I don’t make choices based on a person who might not exist.
Because I might want kids someday, but today I just want to write.
Because, to me, the loss of words is more haunting than an empty womb.

-Charlotte VanWerven


PoetryJulia NusbaumComment