I hate being a woman.
I hate how being a woman means vulnerability.
I hate how eyes, undressing–judging–are always combing over my every flaw
there is no hiding in the open They force on me.
X-ray vision is only a metaphor.
Big Brother is always watching.
I hate vulnerability as a lifestyle
As a mindset
As the unavoidable conclusion.
A prophecy foretold.
A feeling always foreboding.
I hate how calculated wasting away is done for Their pleasure.
Premeditated, a concentrated effort to create vulnerability.
Because liberation is a threat to Them.
Liberation in a woman is sin. The original sin.
I hate how without One–you are not whole.
To be filled. Incomplete.
Without One you are an outcast.
A social deviant.
A conversation piece at a party
The preoccupation of those that have been claimed
A predatory preoccupation of Them.
Vulnerability is alluring.
Vulnerability is one drink too much and being led away from a protective flock.
I hate how without One you do not feel safe.
I hate how sharing a sidewalk with Them makes me wish for Jim Crow
so I could have a reason other than fear to avoid.
They are the male family member required to accompany to protect against Them.
As if They are not One of Them and you are safer because you have One.
As if she who is with He is not thinking the same about Yours
But statistics shows it’s almost always One you know.
I hate the bravado, the sureness that overshadows my little, steady candle.
They are shadows, nameless shapes encroaching at the edges.
Hands on my neck.
Eyes on my flaws.
Whispers in the back of my mind.
That pause, that hesitation that causes me to miss a moment and become vulnerable.
Footsteps behind but ever quicker–approaching–until you are compromised.
I hate how being a woman means compromise.
You have something to be taken. Something that can never be returned.
I hate energy spent, energy diverted, to Them.
Like that worship is more worthy than the cast-aside altar of me. Only me.
I never have a gift for that altar.