*trigger warning*: suggestion of self harm
This is a poem about scars.
I doubt any of those who know me know that I have cut myself with a razorblade.
I know you are looking for the scars now.
You look at my wrists first.
Look, they’re clean.
The scars you’re looking for are light; in fact, most of them are now gone.
But the reason you can’t see them is that you are looking in the wrong place.
Look at my legs.
My calves, mostly, and my knees, and maybe a few on the ankles.
But I did not cut myself on purpose.
I got my scars doing something that nearly every girl and woman has done over and over and over again.
I know you all have the same scars I do.
I got my scars trying to become a woman.
I got my scars trying to be beautiful.
I got my scars over the course of 11 years of my life.
Eventually I was getting my scars to PROVE I WAS a woman.
To PROVE I WAS BEAUTIFUL.
I spent money, probably hundreds of dollars over the course of the last 11 years, buying the tools to give me these scars.
Have you figured it out yet?
That’s right, I’m talking about SHAVING MY LEGS. How fucking ridiculous is that? That I can talk about shaving my legs as self harm and have it be completely accurate????
To pre-empt the contradictory responses:
Yes, I know, men shave their faces and get scars.
IT’S DIFFERENT. IT’S DIFFERENT. IT’S DIFFERENT. IT’S DIFFERENT. IT’S DIFFERENT. IT’S DIFFERENT. IT’S DIFFERENT. IT’S DIFFERENT. IT’S DIFFERENT. IT’S DIFFERENT. IT’S DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF PATRIARCHY.
YOU are still viewed as a man if you choose not to shave your face.
For YOU it’s a style thing.
It’s an image thing.
It’s an option.
Your beard is an accessory.
A fashion statement
or no statement at all.
My leg hair
disgusting, gross, gorilla, yeti
feminazi fetish free-spirit turn-off turn-on hippie homeless homo hot harpy cave-woman crunchy queer dykey dirty IS THAT HARD TO JUST SHAVE YOUR FUCKING LEGS?
No, it’s not.
It’s not hard.
So. Usually I do it.
Even though it costs money. Even though it takes too long. Even though it wastes water. Even though it can clog the drain. Even though
I don’t like it.
Even though I don’t want to.
my hand slips
and I give myself one more scar.
But no, it’s not that hard.
So I keep knicking these little scars on myself
these little reminders
of what it means to be beautiful
of what it means to be a woman
of what it means to be HUMAN
because a woman who doesn’t shave her legs
a creature of a different species.
I’m starting to think that these little scars are not my fault, really.
I go back to that
Because it’s OBVIOUS, isn’t it?
I do this because of patriarchy.
WE do this because of patriarchy.
So I didn’t do this to myself. PATRIARCHY gave me these scars!
A concept cannot wield a razor.
We know what patriarchy is.
It’s a system.
It’s more than sexism.
It’s sometimes well meaning.
It’s teachers and cops and sales associates and bus drivers and bankers and parents and bad guys and good guys.
It’s still me who made those scars.