Gender boundary

Morgan Hakala (Greensboro, NC)

I am big.
But boys are bigger.
I am tall.
But boys are taller.
I am fast.
But boys are faster.
I am strong.
But boys are stronger.

I have always been a tomboy. I climb trees, I explore the woods, and I play mud football with my family and friends. I have always been rough and tumble, though I’ve never broken any bones. I can reach things on high shelves and move furniture for my mom. But does anyone ever take these things into consideration. No.

When I was younger my mom would always fuss at me, “you don’t know your own strength” or “you are bigger than them, be gentle.” That was before the boys hit their growth spurts. Now all I ever hear is, “you’re smaller than them, you could get hurt” or “you can’t play with them, they are stronger than you.”

It’s not just my mom though. It’s everyone. I will be moving things while stage managing and a boy will take the prop from me and ask where I want it. Almost as if I couldn’t merely carry it for myself. I know when people ask if I need help that they are being nice, but then they ask if I’m sure until I finally get to where I was moving it. Or when teachers need something moved or help putting something up they always ask for a few guys to come help. I’m sitting at my desk done with my work and bored to tears. They will never ask for me to help, because of the boundary that has been stopping me my whole life.

I am smart.
Not all boys are.
I can empathize with people.
Not all boys can.
I am mature.
Not all boys are.

I will not let this boundary stop me.
I will become successful.
I will be like a phoenix rising from ashes,
as I rise from the masses.
To be the most I can be.