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When mapping out the things that motivate me to create, at the top of the list sat my feminine rage, which has been baked into my bones through years of observing and experiencing mistreatment due to my outward identity. From this came my manifesto, in the form of spoken-word poetry.

I was once a seed in my mother’s womb.

The first words I spoke were an apology for existing.

I was raised in a house where all of the windows were shattered.

The dolls I played with gave me unrealistic expectations

for how my body is supposed to develop.

The movies I watched tricked me into thinking

I need the attention of a man to feel validated.

The words that I spoke quickly became background static

to the elevated voices of the ignorant.

I was once a seed in my mother’s womb.

I can only imagine the pain she endured just so I could live

the same life as generations of women before me,

Just so I could feel uncomfortable enough to

avoid eye contact with myself in the mirror.

Watch this photo of my body get more attention than any of my poetry.

Watch as their smiling faces turn to confusion

when I tell them how I don’t want children.

I’m not sure at what point it happened, but these things don’t shake me anymore.

Why must I water myself down just to fit into this

societies definition of what a woman is supposed to be? 

Why are these cycles so difficult to break?

How many times will I see the same thing with brand new eyes?

I was once a seed in my mother’s womb and

now my voice is powerful enough to fill an entire room.

I am no longer afraid of my reflection and the stares from men

that used to flatter me now enrage me.

Eve was not created from Adam’s rib, just like

I was not created to be hidden behind the curtain.

I am not a stage hand, for this is my show. 

I will speak loudly and I will say what I need to say.

And it’s your choice whether or not you hear me, 

but I am no longer validated by the reaction of the audience.

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