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Thursday, May 25, 2017

About A Girl by Tarryn Fredde

About A Girl

By: Tarryn Fredde

A baby girl is born.
Her eyes sparkle with
innocence, and new beginnings.
What she doesn’t know,
is that from that day on,
she will be judged
by what she does,
who she is,
what she wears,
and how she acts.

This is the first mistake.

The girl, now three years old,
sits sobbing behind the jungle gym.
A boy has just kicked sand in her face.

When she finally gets her teachers attention and tells her what happened, she grins slightly and chuckles.
At her.
Her teacher is laughing at her because a boy just kicked sand in her face.

“Oh sweetie,”
she says, the sickly-sweetness of her voice
making the girls stomach turn,
and the tears fall harder.
“That just means he likes you.
Besides, it’s just what boys do.”
Her teacher smiles again,
and walks away,
leaving the girl more hurt
 and confused than before.
Absolutely nothing is done
About the boy who kicked sand in her face.

This is the second mistake.

The girl,
now in the third grade,
has decided that
Her favorite thing in the whole world is

But when she goes to play with the boys,
they laugh at her.
“You can’t play basketball!
You’re a girl!”
They say with a violence of a million suns,
and she gets burned by the solar flare.

But she tells no one,
because of the four little
words that have been
ingrained in her head;
“Boys will be boys.”

This is the third mistake.

In middle school,
things are vastly different
for the girl.

She sees all the other girls
wearing makeup and
gossiping together.

And she has no interest at all.

But then,
The comments start to roll in.
“Why don’t you wear makeup?”
“You should wear makeup.”
“You would look prettier with makeup.”

And when the thinly veiled insults start getting to her, she gives in and
starts wearing makeup.

This is the fourth mistake.

When she comes to school the next day,
 with makeup,
 the comments make her head spin.
“You’re wearing too much makeup.”
“You’re too young to be wearing that much makeup.”
“Makeup is false advertising!”

When the girl gets home,
she scrubs her face
until it stings,
 and cries herself to sleep that night.

This is the fifth mistake.

It’s two years later, and the girl decides that
she wants to wear a tank top
because it’s hot that day.

But the moment she walks into school,
the principle points at her,
and leads her to his office.

He informs her that her tank top is violating
dress code,
hands her a detention slip,
and makes her call her mom to get a new shirt.

All because
her bra strap,
barely an inch of fabric,
and her shoulders
are deemed to inappropriate for school.

This is the sixth mistake.

She’s at her freshman orientation,
walking through the gym,
looking at at the clubs.

she comes across a booth for a club called
“Women’s Rights Club.”
On their banner,
 they have the Venus sign,
replaced with a fist in the middle.

Sitting at the booth,
are three young women,
that look like sophomores.

One girl has at least five piercings,
and bright blue hair.

Another has on a leather jacket, combat boots,
and not a drop of makeup on her face.

 And the third girl is wearing a pretty dress,
and makeup.

  They are all talking and laughing like
they’re best friends.

And Finn Walters suddenly feels drawn to these
young women.
Like they will be her life line for the
next four years.
Finn walks over and immediately signs herself up.

  This is the first success.

She goes to their first meeting,
and it’s like her eyes have been opened
for the first time.

Finn has always had this
in her,

But she’s always squished down,
because no one has ever wanted her opinion.

Until now.

Now, that spark is a
forest fire,
burning as hot as that
solar flare she was hit with all those years ago.

She’s brighter than the sun,
and she’ll never burn out.

Finn Walters is a revolutionary.

And her fire is spreading.

But now, Finn has passed her flame to someone else;
her daughter.

And Finn will make sure that her smoldering daughter knows that

Boys will be held responsible for their actions.
That she can be the best basketball player
in the world if she wants to.
That women are not products being sold.

most importantly,
that her gender doesn’t determine anything about
what she does,
who she is,
what she wears,
or how she acts.

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