Term 3, Issue 3 - Poetry | Siena College
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Boroondara Literary Awards

In Year 8 English we are currently studying the Speculative Fiction anthology Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean. The students have been learning about the waves of feminism and how they must be the change they want to see in society. Students have also been encouraged to enter the Boroondara Literary Awards, with some empowering short stories and poems submitted. Please enjoy this poem "The Perception of Women", written by Sharlise Huynh, Year 8.

Ladies, girls, females

Had all started with just one male

All was good at the start

Eyes, mouth and a big heart

Fast forward many years

Problems occurring and ending in tears

Women were always being looked down

Walking on the streets, with a non-existent crown

Females had become ignored

Chores, family and a plain old record

The future for women was no more

Dumping it all in amongst the shore

Men started having high expectations

Laws, rules, regulations

Tall, skinny, blonde

Thinking women would change with just the touch of a magic wand

Skirts, dresses, bows

Heels, hair and a little nose

Small, slim, pretty

How about adding a cute, little, kitty

Women wanted equality, being fair

When all those men did was want them bare

Men’s liking was only on a lady’s physique

Nothing about their soul, just on critiques

Oh, be this, oh be that

Here and there, chitchat chitchat

“Hey! Let me buy you a drink.”

“You could really use it,” adding on a wink

Being abused, used, and sold

Thinking of them as objects, leaving them in the cold

All feeling in the body had become numb

Sleeping at night, feeling very lonesome

Take the Cinderella story

Always giving men all the glory

The ugly stepsisters had just wanted to impress

Ending with Cinderella falling for the plain, old damsel in distress

Mulan had swapped it all around

With no crown or gown

Fighting for her own place

Leaving all men in disgrace

She had fought for her old man

No need for poison apples, heels, or a saucepan

She had used all her strength and power

Returning home with no hands holding a flower

Now look at actresses in our time

In films about a war crime

Only there to act as the nurse

Not allowed to act as the inverse

Besides acting in the settings of war

Women were seen as assistants, mopping the floor

Unable to portray a character that’s tough

Working hard, respecting peers, yet not being paid enough

Having to show skin that would catch a man’s eye

Then asking if they were looking, and would deny

Wondering why men would just stare

At the bum, cleavage, and what they wear

Knowing women were expected to be weak

Laughing and laughing at one’s loud shriek

Thinking fighting women would end in an instant heartbeat

Because they’re just small and sweet

Going back to actresses on TV

Being treated like leftover debris

Superheroes, agents, and detectives kicking arse

“Hey, you know you could’ve just said pass”

Only a few recommended sports

Men had many games of all sorts

“You hit like a girl, you play like a girl!”

“Go back to ballet and do a little twirl”

They played rough

Making women seem like they weren’t enough

Bruises here, cuts there

On a man’s level, they both could not compare

Abuse in the workplace

Towards women, not seen as a disgrace

But the fact that bosses to this day, think it’s okay

Made the situation a real downplay

Police trying to deal with all of it

Some caring, the rest don’t bother to commit

Letting it go, “Be safer next time”

Walking away with confusion, wondering how they don’t see it as a hate crime

Being dragged into court

All they need right now is some support

Demanding a right, the judge denies

Leaving them ‘unaware’ of all those lies

So sick of the words of men

Hearing it over and over again

Finally deciding to take a stand

Hoping it will go smoothly, just as planned

All women coming together as a whole

On the streets, taking a stroll

Taking a stand, fighting for their own

Getting more in on the act, making themselves known

All around the world they knew

That they’re demands are now known as Me Too

Finally getting the recognition that they’ve longed for

Influencing others, and many more

Although this is still happening today

Encouraging others to keep it going, like it’s on replay

Many more need to be aware

So, all could be settled and are all fair

Punita Mistry

Head of English
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