2020-2021, Writing

A Woman in Society

By Amari Wilson-Rice, ’21

This is how you clean up and leave the room spotless; This is how you say “please” and “thank you”; This is how you treat people kindly; This is how you smile; This is how you eat without creating a mess; This is how you do your laundry and fold your clothes; This is how you iron your clothes; This is how to cook; I don’t even like cooking; This is how you sit up straight and have good posture; This is how you look confident; but what if I’m not confident?; Even if you aren’t confident, you have to look like it; This is how to be a woman in society; This is how to cover up when you go outside; This is what you wear to school; This is what you wear to formal events; This is what you wear to a party; This is how you take a flattering picture; This is how to wear makeup; do I even need to wear it?; This is how to cover up your blemishes; This is how to fix your makeup after you’ve cried; This is how to look skinny; This is how to go on a diet; This is how how to stay thin; This is how to say no; but what if someone doesn’t take no as an answer?; Always walk in a group if you are walking at night; Never go to the bathroom by yourself; Always have your phone with you; Learn to never go somewhere at night; This is how to be a woman in society; This is where the emergency boxes are on campus if you ever need them; This is the number for campus police; This is how you hold your drink if you are at a party; Always get your own drink, never take one from someone else; but what if they seem nice?; Always have a sober friend with you if you plan on drinking; Always let someone know where you are going; Send your location to a friend, so they know where you are; Know how to check if the Uber you are getting into is the right car; Always check behind you when you get in your own car; This is how to defend yourself if you ever have to; This is how you ignore catcalls walking down the street; This is how to tell if someone is following you; This is where to buy pepper spray; will I ever need that?; This is where to go if you ever feel like you have been drugged; This is how to be a woman in society; This is how to get a partner; This is how to make your partner happy; This is how you forgive people; This is how you apologize; what if I’m not in the wrong?; Know that a lot of people won’t take you seriously; Know that you will have to speak louder than any person to be heard; Know that you might not get paid as much as your coworkers; Know that people see you differently because of your gender; Know that you are gonna have to fight for every little thing; This is how to be a woman in society.

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