That Type of Girl

I’m “that type of girl.”

The type who travels with poetry in her bag, right next to the comics.

The type who carries a sketchbook whenever she goes, because drawing is the only way to make sense of the world.

The type who’s alone in a group, watching everything.

The type who worries later, after opening up, that those who heard her won’t invite her again.

The type that carries a flask for a good time, because at least the light buzz will remove the anxiety, the uptightness, the constant worry over the smallest things.

The type who wants to be “the type” and yet rails and rallies against what it could mean.

The type who wants to be “cool” and “light” and “easy-going” but can’t even decide what to eat for lunch without weighing a hundred variables, including nutritional value, fullness, and financial cost.

Who reads feminist theory on the train, trying to understand why men can be so cruel, and women so catty.

Who is sexual, expriemental, and firery, but has also been seen as sexual, experimental, and easy.

Who defends the girl that can’t stand up for herself, even if no one was there to defend her.

Maybe that’s why she defends them.

Who sees others who need help, and stops.

Always stops.

Always stays until they don’t need her, and then becomes strangers to them when they decide she’s too much.

Who stares at the people who hurt her, and wonders how it was her fault, just to feel like she has some control.

Who wants to do better.

Wants to change the world.

Wants to be champion of all.

But doubts anyone really cares.

Oppression Olympics Part I

I have been jeered at, on the street, for my legs, my chest, because busty looks best, and yes, I may be twelve, but with a body like a woman’s, I’ll do just fine for the man who wants to satisfy himself.

But I’m not a minority.

I have been attacked, in a room, because “we were in the mood,” and I was dumb enough to think that in this “post-feminist” world, I could be alone with a man, say no, and be heard. I tried to justify this guy, who happened to be “less white” than I (as he put it), but two weeks and five meltdowns later realized, I was violated and victimized.

But I am not a minority.

I have been cornered and pursued, innocent as it may seem to onlookers, by a man I danced with at a party, as if the movement of my hips equals an invitation in. As if a kiss is permission for the hand to slip in wherever it wants to go, because my boundaries are never as important as the log he needs to show.

But what do I know of oppression?

The color of my skin, light as it may be, didn’t stop the man in a café just off the street, from shaking my hand, and upon hearing my name, asked “where are your people from?” He didn’t let go of my hand, and stared waiting for an answer as I struggled, understanding why I was supposed to obey this total stranger. “That’s a pretty personal question to ask someone you just met!” I said, nervous laughter shaking my core, and still he didn’t let go of my hand where I sat. Instead he asked again, and upon my rejection of giving him his desired information, he said “it could be looked up,” and finally relinquished his grip to turn to my male friend and introduce himself again.

“Where are your people from?”

“What are you?”

“Are your parents terrorists?”

These are the questions of strangers in the street, and men in dark corners, and leery classmates, and friends and their siblings, who know just a little of the world, and little enough to be dangerous.

But I am just a “white girl” so what do I know?