Move Aside, A Woman Is Walking: A Poem

Walking down the street

To place on foot in front of the other,

To read the street signs and cross when the lights flash

Simple.

 

But you are a woman

You are a woman in a complicated and confused world

You do not have the luxury of this simplicity

Of “easy”

You are a woman

 

The world is cruel

It is warped by misogynistic lenses,

Riddled with belittling words,

And infested with the sounds of the uneducated

The unwise

The ignorant

But nonetheless the loud, the obnoxious and the plenty

Hoots and hollers may appear to fall upon deaf ears

But even the strongest walls have their cracks

 

You flinch with each sudden act

A man approaches you with a question

You reach for protection

It becomes a habit and a dance

A noise

Look over your shoulder

A male’s fastened pace

Quicken your stride

Cross the street

Check your surroundings

Look for a fellow feminine face among a crowd of oppressors

 

This is not paranoia

Or exaggeration

It is expected

It is being a woman in a warped world

 

Perhaps you walk with a male companion

You are no longer viewed as vulnerable,

No longer forced to endure the firing of suggestive comments

Or grabbing hands

Or wandering eyes

 

But why?

 

Because a man is there?

Because he claimed you as his,

Has danger now been warded away?

 

Color me unsurprised

Misogyny strikes again

 

To walk down the street as a woman

To enter a world blinded by the idea that you are flesh

You are blood

A heart pumps inside you and a mind fills your pretty head

To be a woman is to be alive, to feel, to be human

 

If it walks and talks like one, then it is one

Simple.

 

To those men who fail to comprehend this elementary idea

To those who try to stop us in our steps

Who try to pollute the air we breathe with their existence

And who try to push us down with their empty words

 

Move aside,

Or be another step for us to press our heels into on the way to the top

 

A woman is walkingRelated image