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She

She must not yell,
Nor take up space,
She should not fight,
Or demand respect,
She brought you into this world
So, we call our ships “she”
We call our machines “woman”
Our favorite things are often called “female”
People look at bombs, have been so in awe at these brilliant things
That they must be named after a woman
We compare her to black widows and vipers
Yet, are surprised when she lives up to this,
Our greatest cities are named after her,
As are the most beautiful places in the world
She has felt with so much and have gotten so little in return
She has been burned at the stake,
Was not allowed in schools,
Could not vote or work,
Still are sold and treated as property,
Had little to no rights,
Are told from an early age that violence means that someone likes her,
She is raped, beaten and tortured
Then she takes this to court,
Here her clothing let’s a rapist roam free
Still, she must be “Lady-like,”
Must keep everything inside and be invisible,
She cannot do anything without being judged
Do not down-play her power
She brought you into this world,
Remember that she can take you out

-- Emily B., 9th-12th Grade