A Man’s World (Inspired by Alice Walker’s “Women”)

Be soft
And supple
Hairless like a child
Pluck your brows
Dye your hair
But don’t be so vain
Stand up for yourself
But know your place
Be wife material
But don’t be so needy and dependent
Be strong
And confident
But rely on my compliments for self esteem
Don’t starve yourself
To look like a stick
“Only dogs like bones!”
But don’t indulge
Be sexy
Be curvy
Be thick
But don’t be a cow
Spread your legs when I ask
Wear crop tops
Skinny jeans like a second skin
And skirts so short they look like panties
But don’t be so easy
You’re just asking for it then
Cross your legs
Sit up straight

Make sure your skirt is long
And your lipstick demure
But don’t be such a prude
Please me
Abide by my rules
But don’t you dare
Cry “misogyny”
After all, we’re equals, aren’t we?

Marissa Wenglicki is 15 years old and lives in Feasterville, Pennsylvania. She attends Neshaminy High School and is in tenth grade. She loves books, art, writing, and animals.