Author's Note: 0.2 miles. 2 blocks. 5 minutes. That is all it took for my friends and I to be catcalled three times on the walk from school to the local bookshop. One man walked past us. One rolled down his car window. One was on his bike. We were just 15 years old; still carrying our school bags. Usually, we would brush it off as something “to get used to” in the Downtown Miami area, but that day something took over us. We were furious. That day, we were robbed of our innocence.
This slam poem was our emotional response.
Baby, smile more!
I’m tired of being told that feeling unsafe should be a compliment.
Walking down the street is a battle, and I am an unarmed soldier.
Since I was a child, I was told to be careful.
But when my skirt was pulled and I felt uncomfortable,
you told me– “boys will be boys”.
I’m walking home alone, and his car pulls up.
Which will win? The keys in his car or the ones in my hand?
Is this what you meant when you said “boys will be boys?”
I look over my shoulder. He’s still following me.
You’re so beautiful, babe.
And also underage.
I pull out my phone and dial 911, ready to call.
Should I run?
Don’t tell me you make me run down the street
because I’m the prettiest face you've ever seen.
I’m tired of feeling defenseless.
I’m tired of your bullshit excuses.
I’m tired of living in fear.
I am not an object in need of your approval.
And neither are the other 3 and a half billion women in this world.
Read the issue 3 intro letter and check out the cover!
…As I began to embark on my new life journey thousands of miles away from home, one of the hardest things I had to undergo was learning which relationships to “take” with me on my young adult novel-esque journey, and which ones to leave back in Texas
For the first time, I reveled in my little victories.
McCullers is an intimate writer, someone who is well worth the read!- she’s stripped away any stone of and brought you into the real world, cloaked in all of the dirt and muck of real life. This brings the reader and author closer together-- showing each other a specific relationship between two strangers.
I didn’t analyze the situation too closely at the time, other than to remark, “Wow, that’s funny that they thought I was pregnant.” But thinking back, I’m struck by how inappropriate it is to compliment a young woman on her maintained virginity. I also think, what if I had been pregnant? Would they have described abortion as an option? Or would they have positioned adoption or motherhood as the only available choices?
I have transformed quotations from my fictional heroes and my most beloved female characters into Haikus that remind me why I admire them as role models so much, and also of who I strive to be.
I am one to proclaim that the things we choose to watch, listen to, read, and indulge in are a big factor that shapes the kind of person we become … and shapes the way we perceive the world around us. Through its realism, its relatability, and it's all-inclusivity -- The Bold Type is a healthy binge-watching alternative.
This short fictional story centers around seventeen-year old Jo, an aspiring journalist and devoted fan to the fictional artist, Derek White. Throughout, she sadly learns that there is a separation from an image of a person and their true selves.
It is not uncommon for people with existing anxiety and self-esteem issues (like myself) to feel a dip into low moods in the summertime, particularly when we are flooded with images and advertisements for how to keep ourselves “beach body ready.”
This 22-Year-Old Female Founder is Making Periods Sustainable, Accessible, and Affordable. Get ready for viv to be your new favorite period product brand.
Support networks are important for everyone, but they don’t always come in the same form for every person. Family is perhaps the first one that comes to mind, but the definition of family is not uniform. For some, it’s biological. For others, it’s chosen. For some, it’s a mixture of the two.
Girls and femme-identifying people simultaneously need to practically break their necks to be as feminine as possible while being constantly belittled for femininity, all for the end goal of being in a straight relationship with a man who will appreciate their beauty. Why can’t we just value ourselves without a man’s approval?
In my poetry, I see that the historical contextualization and memorialization of women can have a profound impact on what we now believe is possible.
Every time I pass her building, when the family gets together for dinners, as her favorite song plays in my shuffled playlist; she is everywhere…I didn’t know how much of me was made of her, and I don’t know if I’ll ever fully understand, but having you here is something I’ll forever be grateful for.
As “womxn” increasingly becomes apart of our language, it may feel intimidating if it’s something you may not know much about or have even heard for the first time. Here we answer some questions you may have about the word.
It’s taken me a long time to embrace the beauty and power of my imperfections. Moreover, to realize that my worth isn’t lessened by my flaws.
Miscellaneous: Serious Fun is a new column where I’ll explore random subjects that I’m interested in, just for the hell of it.
For trauma survivors, pleasure is a process of growth.
At my high school’s college signing day, they made a point of mentioning who was the first in their family to graduate from high school or the first in their family to go to college. Everyone clapped and cheered and the adults in the room seemed particularly impressed, but I don’t think any of us really understood the weight of what we were experiencing or about to transition into.
Everyone knows the name Amelia Earhart. She has been a staple figure in elementary school history classes for generations, and most people have a sense of the basic information: famous pilot, first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, disappeared mysteriously. But that’s pretty much where the description ends for a lot of us.
I remember there was a marked time in my childhood when I started performing obsessive actions, and then a time when I realized these actions were not something everyone did.
“Dear Jessica Jones, you deserved better than this.”
Through messages I’d received through books, and through the messages I’d received from people around me my whole life, I’d been told that relationships have a playbook that they start and develop by, and had either desperately misconstrued these messages or taken the really damaging ones to heart.
An ode to the greatest southeastern supermarket chain of Heaven.
A short story on the emotional toll womanhood can exact today.
The time to act on climate change is now; not tomorrow, or in a week or even a day.
I decided to visually depict the absurd and problematic thinking behind the phrases and words used today that need to be erased from our language.
In my hand was a boarding pass for a flight to Madrid, the first stop on a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, an ancient route that has attracted religious and secular travelers for centuries. Aside from the aforementioned backpack and shoes, I was diving way outside of my comfort zone without as much as a clear idea of where exactly in Spain the journey would take me.
“It’s up to us to teach young girls and even ourselves that being a girl is ok. In fact, it’s great! Be the best girl or womxn you can be and be a role model for others who might be afraid to be themselves.”
I remember sending a photo of an outfit I wore to a group chat of 11 of my closest friends with the caption “this makes me feel androgynous” – meaning: it makes me feel less feminine than my tight, revealing outfits usually do.
Author: Melanie Rodriguez
Melanie Rodriguez from Miami, Florida is a rising college freshman at Florida International University majoring in Journalism. In addition to her love for the written word, Melanie is also an avid performer and producer. She combines her passions with her dedication to political activism to approach these topics in a creative manner; she hopes to create a non-profit organization in the near future to address these issues through youth interaction. Melanie is eager to work with Make Muse to enact social change through creative means.