College As A Stepping Stone to Female Greatness
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College As A Stepping Stone to Female Greatness

A feminist poem

10
College As A Stepping Stone to Female Greatness
Seattle Pi

I’m sure you’ve heard a feminist poem that began or ended like this before:

I will no longer apologize for taking up space, or being heard too loudly

I will no longer blunt my opinions for your easily pierced egos

Or hide my knowledge on a subject to make you seem equally capable

But have you ever heard a woman (including cis, trans, genderfluid, and all those gender identities that play out in between in between) discuss how she garnered such strength?

I think I did in college

I’ve always been “the smart girl”

I’ve been called a nerd affectionately—at least I chose to receive it as such

I’ve been made to feel small for making my presence or opinion too big and boisterous

I’ve found myself holding back a raised hand in class

For fear of having to explain my views and audacity to voice them

Then I embarked on my journey through higher education

I learned the words and theories behind my beliefs

I learned how to strongly and definitively use these words

And I looked forward to explaining myself

To arguing fiercely for what I believe with no remorse

To using these thoughts and rationales in order to make people uncomfortable and rethink their complacency regarding societal roles and narratives

Much like the same discomfort I endured at the expense of trusting the legitimacy of my role as a tough, outspoken woman in my youth

And along the way, my superiors applauded me for my ability to wield these newfound tools

For the first time I felt wholly capable and in control

I felt pride and confidence in my academic accomplishments and the intellect they revealed

Like my brain was not incriminating

But still potentially dangerous, in a way completely left to my whim

So to the men who are intimidated by intellectual wrath, I say this

Good

You didn’t want me to have these texts or ideas to explain my alienation

You didn’t want me to call your bluff

That you don’t actually know more or are more adept, but that your body is simply afforded more space then mine

You opinions are more influential and credible by default, but not always by merit

I will not apologize for my morals, especially if they offend you

Because your morals that see me as less than offend me, and I was never afforded such reprieve

I grew up with these principles as an unfortunate but unwavering truth of our society

I felt I was less than before I knew why

And I knew, more than anything, to never make a man feel less

Don’t make your opinions seem more important, don’t make him question his worth by showing yourself to be more knowledgeable or self-assured

Just so many don’ts…

But I will

And she/they will

And we all will

We are resilient, smart, and skilled

We work harder to reach the same goals, to earn the same respect

We still work the same to be paid less

We will not remain silent forever

We are roughly half the population

And many of the roadblocks you’ve set have been knocked down

The glass ceilings that were built are being shattered

You can’t ignore us forever

Watch the glass continue to shatter

But most importantly, truly listen to me and my sisters as we ascend

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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