People Pleasers

“Who says chivalry is dead?” He says

As he smiles

And looks down my shirt

At my chest

I guess it shouldn’t be anything new

I’m used to strange men staring at me

Ever since before I even hit puberty

Don’t get me wrong.

I know that not all men are this way

But I pray for the day

When we can forget the unwritten decree

To be the people pleasers we are expected to be

That I can forsake my politeness

And speak up when men peer at me

In elevators, on buses, when I cross the street

“Excuse me, sir. I am not a goddamn piece of meat.”

No I will not smile

No I will not say hello back

I don’t owe you a greeting

I recall the words from one of my own male relatives

And the thought of it just leaves me seething

That “little girls should be seen not heard”

Well, allow me to throw that notion out the window

And give it the bird

Because I’m sick of being silent

I’m sick of only being able to protest with a picket sign

I’m sick of being pressured to just fall in line.

I am not here to keep the peace

When my own space has been invaded

Call me just another angry woman if you will.

But it’s your perception that is ridiculously outdated.

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