When a woman walks down the street, a poem by me

This poem is inspired by how uncomfortable and unsafe I often feel when I am walking down the street. It is also inspired by the many women who have spoken their truth about Harvey Weinstein.

When a woman walks down the street

When a woman walks down the street
She is subjected to unwanted stares,
Comments from those who do not care,
About who she is,
Who she wants to be
Or where she is going.

She looks back every now and then
To make sure no one is following.
She picks up her pace,
And starts to sweat a little
Because she knows there might be a chance
Someone will grab her.

Maybe I should have put on jeans today
Instead of this skirt.
I feel so vulnerable,
So exposed,
And so afraid.

I’m almost there,
I’m almost there.
She repeats
Over and over
Like a soothing mantra.

She sees a group of people ahead
And breathes a little slower.
They see me now.

But before she could think 
About what they could do,
She gets home,
Puts away her skirt
And reminds herself to wear pants next time.

A reminder created by the belief
That a woman is at fault,
For wearing clothes that “provoke”.
It does not matter
What she wears,
It is not her fault.

A woman who speaks out
Is a woman with an agenda.
She just wants money
And 15 minutes of fame,
They tell one another.

But somewhere underneath the lies,
They must be wondering
What if she’s telling the truth.

The other voices are louder.
They stand by,
Blindly defend,
Or worse,
They stay silent.

Women and girls
Who are watching,
Lock up their voices
And throw away the key.
Because the truth is not safe.
Not here
And not now.
Will it ever be?

Yes.

But how?

We speak up.
Tell our family
Our friends
It is never okay
To place blame
On a woman.
For what she wears,
Is her choice.
And what she says,
is her truth.

We teach our young people
the meaning of consent,
that no means no,
and that a woman is equal.

Then maybe one day
When a woman walks down the street
She won’t have to think about any of this crap.

-Sophie

Outfit details:
Top: Rebecca Taylor (old), similar here
Skirt: Aritzia (old), similar here
Shoes: Loeffler Randall

I’ll see you in my next post.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This is not an ad. All opinions are my own.

  • Kendraya Hampton

    Thank you for this necessary post, Sophie! Your poem is beautiful! I could feel your emotions as I was reading it. Within the beauty of it is a sadness from the words and feelings behind those words.

    You’re not alone, Sophie. I wish that we didn’t have to experience this in our daily lives. It’s something that men don’t feel. I had a deep conversation with my boyfriend about this a few months ago, and it really opened his eyes to what we experience as women.

    I was going to get an estimate for my car recently. When I got to the car shop, there were several men gathered outside. I was wearing a skirt that day, and the car shop was in a secluded area. I had a similar thought process to yours in this poem. I kept driving because I felt too scared to be in a place like that with so many men. I thought that maybe I would have felt more comfortable if I were wearing pants.

    It’s so sad, and I hope that society will get better in its treatment and behavior toward women. Sending love your way, Sophie! Your post and poem are golden! ✨

    • Thank you, Kendraya 🙂 I really appreciate the support. Writing it all out made me realize how much work we have cut out for us and how important it is to share our perspective with the men in our life.

      The sad part is it wouldn’t matter what we were wearing, we would still be viewed as objects. I think society has tried to convince us that it’s what we wear that leads to negative consequences…whereas young men are rarely taught about consent and that they do not own a woman’s body. Or that what a woman chooses to do with her body could be for herself and not for attention.

      It will take time, openness, and strength to get our society to where it needs to be. But I truly hope we’ll get there each voice at a time.