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Poem in response to Gender Equality
May 2018
By Ilana Arougheti
CC Image Courtesy of Donnie Ray Jones

My darling, what a tough world to bring you into:

Too muddy for a princess,

Too steep for a sprite,

Too risky for a sculpture,

Too daunting for a doll.

Good thing those sorts of girl exist only in myth.


You must study the faces who study your body,

Who compel you to study the hourglass mold, awaiting your weight in its curves,

Who make the demands that seem a study in stupidity,

Who regale you with lessons in what not to learn.

I will teach you to tear up their tests, scorn their gazes,

And study your power within.


Your hands will smear paint, climb trees, catch snowflakes, break bread,

Grasp pens, skim railings, clutch lovers, wipe tears,

Skip rocks, lift trophies, snap rhythms, trace thoughts,

Hold mine when you need it,

And cease not their motion if bedecked with a ring.


For the textbooks may call you restricted,

And the whispers may call you an object,

And the classics may call you a beautiful fool;

But the future can’t call you invisible

Once you shout the ink down from its pages.

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