The door clicks shut,
Barely audible to my ears
Eager only to hear
The sound of my heartbeat
And the pad of my steps.
And I run.
My cheeks turning pink
As the overhead evening sky,
The horizon eating away the sun
As my legs electrify the ground.
But as the horizon licks its lips
And the sun and day are gone,
My smile slips.
New rules are in play.
The nighttime treaty- unspoken, unwritten,
Known by all women.
The streets are no longer ours.
They belong to the day’s shadows,
Who hide behind jobs and groceries and grins of imperfect teeth.
They are the warnings that keep me inside on darker days.
Are they myths?
I hold my breath as dark-tinted cars go by,
As the nightmares of my mind burn too close to the edge of reality.
I live a million lives between each street sign,
Imagine a million ways to make a hasty retreat.
Because now they own the streets.
My nails digging into my palm
As one with a beard
Says hey, calls me girl.
Is it scarier
To be a girl?
Under this nightly contract
Is there even a difference?
I see one of my own.
We smile, we nod, we pass each other.
The smile a reassurance,
The nod a gesture,
Confirming the salvific clause.
That says one will call for angels
If demons get the other.
That one will call the papers
If the other’s name appears tomorrow.
These thoughts as familiar
As the streets I run,
As though thinking them is a means of protection,
Naivete visible on the backs of others, younger.
I do not feel safer
The closer I get to home.
Danger, fear, what and if
Are my running companions
And remain with me
So long as I dare defy the treaty.
But as I bound down the hill,
Momentum pulls me toward safety like a lifeline.
I am the only one pulling.
I touch base and breathe,
And I wonder how many times I escaped today.
And why we ever signed
On the dotted line.
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.
A poetry series on the growth past the impeding efforts of society to restrict a woman’s progress.
Both sides of the political spectrum miss the fact that sex is fun- and reproductive rights should be seen that way too. I noticed a few months ago that common contraceptives resemble candy in some ways. Perhaps if contraceptives were seen in the same light-hearted manner as candy, there wouldn’t be stigma, debate, or denial with regard to obtaining them or protesting against laws that limit access to them.
With ride-sharing apps developing an established presence all over the world, some innovators are seeking to ensure that women are both safe and comfortable when using the service.
But over time, I realized that it wasn’t about appearance or pleasing others, it was about feeling good in what I was wearing—even, and sometimes especially, if no one could see it.
Ladies, summer is officially here. I’s time to have at least one hand on sunscreen and one eye on the nearest shady area at all times – this is not a drill. Say your prayers to Rihanna or whoever you believe in that we make it out of this one alive.
It’s more than just a bathroom. It can be a source of anxiety, or it can be a battlefield, but most importantly, it’s a right and a sense of freedom.
A lot of my artwork focuses expressing thoughts that I've absorbed in feminist movement building spaces in Chile and Argentina. Abort Like Animals was a chant that Chilean feminists came up with, at a protest I participated in.
“So you can’t even eat pasta ?”
To be a woman
Is a political statement
What better way to move away from the couch and computer screen than to move to a slightly different side of the couch with a good book?!
At first I thought I was just lonely. I felt like I wanted someone in my life, but I also felt like I didn’t have time to properly nurture any budding developments, which led to spirals of anxiety about wasted youth.
One lie that we have always been told is that acne is part of some “geeky pre-cool phase” you need to go through in order to GLO-up
This poem serves to put words to a common feeling among underestimated young women, who are too often mistaken as weak and feeble when they really contain powers much stronger than physical size.
When all kinds of people write stories meaningful to them, with characters that represent more than dominant voices in society, literature has the potential to unleash a new era of understanding.
Woman, like nature, have been carved into the shapes societal tells them they should fit into, until the natural part of us kicks in and we realize that maybe, we do not have to be so straight, so cut, so small.
Defensiveness, anger and embarrassment: the negative reactions when one is catcalled.
Many people see bisexuals as overtly sexual, untrustful, unable to make a decision or not gay enough, inappropriate for children. It is therefore incredibly important for bisexual representation to debunk those rumors.
As much as I love summer nights and longer days, there’s one aspect in particular that I don’t look forward to: shorts.
I’ve always struggled with accepting my body and truly loving myself, which made shopping for clothes both my favorite and most dreaded activity.
If you follow or support any educators or activists for the causes you’re passionate about, it’s important to be vocal and informed about how you support them.
Caption This: I Unfollowed Half My Instagram Feed
If I had a dollar for every time I hear the phrase “boys are intimidated by…” Bitch… I would be a rich, rich woman.
…It follows women wherever we are, wherever we go. It’s the looming presence over the shoulder at the grocery store, or down a dark alley, or pumping gas.
What upset me was that the same fashion media outlets and influencers who will don a $710 “feminist” t-shirt or wear a pin at Fashion Week in support of Planned Parenthood were also reluctant to acknowledge the well-documented complexities of an industry icon
I see self portraiture is a revolutionary act of self love.
Author: Caitlin Panarella
Caitlin Panarella is a writer, reader and grammar enthusiast, and is currently studying English and Women and Gender Studies at Georgetown University. After watching Miss Representation in high school, she developed a passion for analyzing media and literature portrayals of gender. When she’s not planning out trips around the world, you can find her running her favorite routes all over D.C., sipping tea while reading a book, or (re)watching Stranger Things. She’s thrilled to be a part of the Make Muse team and support women telling their own stories!