Hiding


When we leave the island and take to the parkway, we pass the collection of buildings among which Planned Parenthood hid when I was a girl.

Is it still hiding?

Anger rises up inside. Shame.

WHERE WAS MY EDUCATION?
MY ORIENTATION?
MY CELEBRATION
of my body.
my sexuality.
my power?

No longer willing to hold the weight myself, I blame the community, the culture, my parents, the schools, religion, Catholicism, and most of all–the PATRIARCHY–who robs young girls like me of our sovereignty–uses us up in the kitchen and the laundry room and the bedroom–calls us saints and sluts and hags–tells us to spread our legs, or seal them closed, to hold our bellies in, to close our mouths, to starve ourselves.

Praises us
for being young,
obedient,
pretty.

SHAMES us
for everything else.

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