How do you Say Fuck You in Feminism?

By Amanda Cartigiano

I’m to be drop dead gorgeous, said my grandmother,

in all I do, but drop dead

is too dramatic, demanding, and dishonest

I’m taught how to do, what to do, how to be in ways that

Disrupts my comfortability, confuses regularity


Hairy legs, shave;

Shirt too tight, change;

Bad hair day, rearrange;


Thin physique, long hair, legs, blonde hair, shiny, black hair

If it was short, she wasn’t convinced, masculinity

at its finest

Break feminine rules; it’s been decided I’m single

and can’t own nice clothes, let me be in my body,

leave me alone.


My education delivered a proclamation, for me to neglect

biased lies of primary socialization.


People like me work in the back of K-Mart, wearing red shirts,

heavy vests, and khaki slacks with sneakers. She’s done

her research – she knows the dress code.


Twenty-five years of practice, difficult to break these tactics;

I re-educate, re-assure, re-assemble me in ways I make


Real.