Does anyone know when the rules changed?
When once women
smiled upon, praises heaped
for her whispers, powder-soft feminine grace
rewarded for fragility
her tears like treasures raining from lowered lashes
Stay pretty, they told us.
We were cherished once
Bought, never borrowed
safe beneath his wing.
the world thought it best to change the picture
grafitti-marred brick wall displays
the new Femme Fatale
strong, savage beauty
clad in black leather
full lips like blood, eyes like flames.
Though born soft, she is tossed in the arena
to fight alone
Swallow the dark elixir they feed us
inject fantasy into our skin like tattoos
Be HER, they tell us.
Buffy, Katniss, Khaleesi
Forge the spirit of Athena
the hardness of the Amazons.
Fight with the strength of a man
dance the lead like a man
be ever more like a man