I often feel as though I’m just a wavering shadow of a woman, a slight figure with a step so gentle it goes unheard.  As a young girl I was taught to be small, fragile, and beautiful.  So I obeyed, as I always did, with my forehead to the floor and my smile indicating a placid and agreeable character.  The good and reliable child, the modest and humble girl, the delicate child; I was a rule-follower and an order-obeyer.  I had heard stories of my father’s rebellious years, of his childhood escapades breaking glass and covering walls in graffiti, but that wasn’t the work of girls, those were boys and boys they will be.  I was a girl.  And so I sat at the grown ups’ table, was sure not to interrupt, made my bed, and played in my plastic kitchen.  I was a girl.  I wore dresses and arrhythmically bounced to Bach’s concerto in a body that was never meant for ballet.  I aspired towards being able to fit inside a flower, like Thumbelina so that my most notable and admirable quality could be my smallness and fragility.  I’m tired of being a girl.

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