By Zeba Blay
One poet has perfectly summed up the struggle of being an intelligent woman in a sexist world.
In a spoken word piece posted by All Def Poetry on March 21, poet Angela Aguirre recalls a time when a male college counselor jokingly said he figured she was a “fashion” major, after she told him she wanted to major in rhetoric — all because she was wearing a crop top and shorts.
“He had no idea what he even meant. The intention of that comment was probably about somewhere between patriarchy and a pathetic attempt at trying to hit on someone half his age,” recites Aguirre in the piece, titled “Boobs vs. Brains.”
But her next statement brings home the inability of some men to understand that womanhood and femininity does not equal weakness and unintelligence:
The same men who wouldn’t think twice about looking at us in lust, would never second guess themselves before they ever actually listen to what we have to say. The problem with that is, their expectations never quite fit me. They were always too small. See I wear my womanhood proud. I wear it ballgown, lipstick, mascara, blush. Do not ask me to tone that down so that your life can make more sense. Do not ask me to play small or serve you or your assumptions of what happens or should have simply because I’m wearing tight jeans (and looking damn good in them). That does not take away from my worth as a teacher and activist and poet. I will not be less me so that you can be more comfortable being more you.
Thank you, Aguirre, for perfectly articulating the way so many women are underestimated simply for being women.
Watch the poem in its entirety above.
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