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What You Can and Can't Be in Society's Eyes

Bella Mastruobuono'24

*To start this off, I don’t want to offend anyone with my word choices. There is use of profanity and the f slur in this poem. I am a part of the LGBTQ+ as a proud gender fluid pansexual, although, this can be how I and many others, feel sometimes.*

This poem is based on “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid. Girl by Jamaica Kincaid - The Full Text! (

This is how you get a boy to like you, don’t overexpose your skin but also don’t cover up; have a bubbly personality but don’t be overly loud and annoying; don’t seem as if you want all the attention because I know you are an attention whore; men won’t like you if you’re an attention whore; but what if I don’t like men? That is forbidden, you don’t want to be an outcast; no one likes a lesbian, plus don’t you want children? You better want children; LGBTQ is not accepted in this house and will never be accepted by society; This is how you present yourself as a woman, agree to everything a man says but don’t have sex before marriage, no one likes a slut; don’t argue with a man and his beliefs, you are and will always be less than a man; women don’t have rights; but what if I’m not a woman? Can’t I be a man? Nonbinary? Gender fluid? Never, that is not accepted and will never be allowed, I will not be having a trans daughter, friend, sibling, family member, classmate, student, etc. Always dress like everyone else, you don’t want to stick out; that means no masculine clothes, you are a woman after all, you can never change that; but what if I want to? I don’t want to be less than a man just because of my gender; that’s not up to you to decide; if you have a vagina, you’re a woman, if you have a penis, you’re a man. It’s as simple as that; Always keep your hair long, let it grow down to your butt; oh, and always have a big butt, men like that; if you don’t have a big butt, get one; always be skinny, blonde, pretty; have bright white teeth; don’t tell anyone what to do, stay in your place; but also don’t let them boss you around, stand your ground; but not too strong or you’ll be perceived as rebellious; Always smile, people like to see happy people, not depressed people; but what if I’m not happy? I don’t always want to act; well, you must act because no one likes it to be sappy; stay positive, make sure people know you as an extrovert, not an introvert; never be an introvert; always have female friends, no one likes a loner; but not too close with your friends or everyone will think you’re a f*****; but what if I am? You are not, don’t go around saying that; never kiss a girl, kiss boys; you need an important and dominant man in your life, not some outcast of a female; never tell people that you are anything but a woman, you are a female; you do everything a man tells you to do, do not rebel; don’t be a slut, a whore, or a f*****, no one likes those outcasts; they’ll only use you for your body because they know you’re weak; don’t be weak and don’t be mentally ill; you don’t want to burden a man with you’re messed up head; never insult a man, if they ask you to marry them then you marry them; no ifs ands or buts; and always stay loyal, no one likes a prostitute; you are not a gender fluid lesbian, you know; okay, I know…

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