What I Don't Need
I am not one for loud words and shouting.
When angered I react with dagger looks or pointed comments,
The epitome of a snarky temper.
I pride myself on keeping my calm
In the face of medieval insults and thinly veiled homophobia,
I breathe and smile and correct with the pretty face of kindly feminism.
But in response
You might even cry.
Did I hurt your feelings by pointing out your misogyny?
I’m sorry, I should’ve packaged up your ignorance in a neatly wrapped box.
A pretty ribbon to heal your embarrassment?
A sweet label to explain away your guilt?
Learning is not always meant to be easy or fun.
It’s not easy to learn the boundary between friend and feminist.
It’s not fun to wake in the morning and be faced with a close friend casually interrupting everything you say in class.
It's not my job to adapt my behaviour to your fragile masculinity.
We all learned that we would need to project our voices to be heard, but not yell.
We must force our way into rooms to be seen, but not be overbearing.
We have to tread the line everyday, so forgive us if the few moments when you walk in our shoes,
The seconds where you feel like the minority in the room,
If these galling heartbeats are too much to handle.
It’s not my job to pander to your learning curve.
What I don’t need in that moment is an emotional apology where you mansplain to me how men so often speak over women
And that’s why you feel so bad, how awful, you’re such a terrible person, you never meant to offend.
For once, what I need
Is acknowledgement, retention, and a swift progression.
It’s too much to ask me to be both caregiver and educator,
Nanny and teacher,
Lover and tutor.
I’m doing my part to cater my feminism to your delicate ego,
Start doing yours.