Home 9 Issue 9 Open Your Eyes by Sophia Rothman

Sophia Rothman, age 15


This collection of poetry examines the extent to which feminine women are accepted as feminists. Many people often correlate outward form and style with certain beliefs and temperament. I’ve always been very girly in style – despite my short haircut, my favorite color is pink and I love lace and floral patterns – yet I consider myself an ardent feminist and crusader for social justice. Meanwhile, I often notice girls dressing more masuline as a way to oppose gender norms and sexist ideas. I don’t know why I can’t have these same values without branding myself in a certain way.

Open Your Eyes

Open up
about how I feel and think
hoping my speech may finally sink
But whatever I say
will never be enough
They put up their walls of masculinity
impenetrable and tough
Their eyes won’t stop staring
at the lace on the hem of my skirt
or the red
on the base of my lips
Somehow these aspects of me strip
my words of their meaning
I try to talk soft and serious
though internally I’m screaming
If I expressed this out loud
they’d cock their heads back and laugh
She’s hysterical they’d say
try to fit me into a box, a chart, a graph
something that they can understand
in their minds, justify and attack


Your mind has an image
when you hear the word feminist
God our brains can be so
You have her whole look
mapped out to a T
Her boyish hair and jeans
The slogans she chants and screams
But you wouldn’t know it was her
if she was staring right at you
Her persona changes
your whole point of view
Her red lips mask
the message they utter
You decide not to listen
‘cause if you did you’d be flustered
Her dress and heels hide
the anger inside
Her look fits a different description
She’s perfectly in disguise 
You wouldn’t call her a feminist
unless you were looking for it
But you only see what’s on the outside
so it must not exist
She’s just not the girl
you had in your mind’s eye

Eyes deceive you

It can’t be true
They’ve never fought one another
It’s considered taboo
They say she doesn’t
“belong in the group”
But what decides this?
Her red lips or her shoes?
It’s her overall appearance
but they’ll never admit it
They’ll say she just
isn’t the right fit
How do you define what a feminist is?
There shouldn’t have to be
some signal or sign
just for others to recognize
From far away we squint our eyes
make quick assumptions in our minds
But then up close
that’s when we realize
truth is only
on the inside
The mixed signals I send
shouldn’t determine
how others perceive
Not trying to make
the speculation process easy
People like a question
where there’s only one answer
But I Iike to wander
I like to meander
Look back through those
Exclusion shouldn’t be
your final conclusion
So when you say in your mind
I’m just not the right fit
I beg you to
Open your eyes