Boys will be boys

“Smile, baby.”
“What you so angry about?”

I walk down the street
and am told how to act.
What to do.
What to suck.

I’m uncomfortable.
I’m humiliated.
I’m fearful.

I chastise myself when I get home.
“Why didn’t you say something?”
“Why did you let them treat you that way?”

It starts when we’re young.
“Boys will be boys.”
As they grab boobies and butts
and crotches in the schoolyard.
Their actions excused
because of their gender.

Meanwhile girls are conditioned
to remain silent
when they are violated,
and degraded.

One in four women
are sexually assaulted
in their lifetime.


Stop telling me to smile.
Stop condescending my anger.
Stop it! with the, “Boys will be boys.”

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