Sometimes I wish I never took a women’s studies class. How, once I saw the war against us, I could not unsee it. How aware I became of the billboards and their slow twist of my arm. The lipsticks I used to collect, and love, suddenly many-hued bullets. Walking out from the midnight of a movie theatre into the shock of day, my friends laughter popping like corn, saying how great the movie was, and me, the blanket wet with phrases like, ‘the male gaze! ‘, ‘heteronormative!’ ‘complete and utter objectification of women!’
I miss the days when I could enjoy a fucking movie, or the silk of a shaven leg. I miss not having an existential crisis in the hairstylist’s chair saying, ‘no, i’m going to keep it long this summer.’ Miss the days when I wanted the men to look — when I thought ‘not like other girls’ was a compliment. I miss the days way back, further back, when I could pin a picture of a princess on my wall and feel proud—I even wished it when I was in that courtroom—when I could have still been a girl who let things go, who said the threats were not so bad, said ‘boys will be boys’ and let him tell me how pretty I’d look murdered.
But I was glad for those classes that day, in his room, when I said, ‘No’, and he said, ‘Must’, and I laced up my boots and got on a train, any train, not sure where home was but knowing damn well where it wasn’t.