when I was a girl, I wanted to be a boy

because boys could be free, no worries of being perceived

as weak, as a sex object, as stupid or silly

but girls

were not even supposed to want to be free

assaulted by gendered expectations of tight skirts, high heels, loaded makeup, mindless giggling to fit in

while living in bodies abused from dieting and internalized self-hatred

these are the marks

the requirements of girlhood, enforced brutally by gender –

and I saw all this coming as I turned ten and so

as I began my journey into mental illness, I scratched “I want to be a boy” on the bathroom wall

knowing it would never be true, knowing

I would still be nothing but a girl, so eventually I gave in and performed femininity in an oscar-winning performance

worthy

of a lifetime achievement award so convincing was I –

and now, years later, I look back and see how those years are a part of me, but that I was never

actually me –

it took me years

to find my own inner strength as a woman, to feel that my female curves really can co-exist with strength –

but now, as I look around, fully grown with a confidence and power I constructed almost entirely on my own,

I see how girlhood is now more pornified, GENDERED, and objectified than ever, how teen girls

are told twerking for men is empowerment

are told to be open to anal sex while their clitoris, that unique and amazing female organ, is erased and they are referred to as “non-prostate owners”

are told by playboy product placement and pornhub store openings that they are really  just objects to be played with, that their female bodies are worthy of nothing but male contempt and abuse –

so perhaps now

with all these hormones and breast binders and online trans groups encouraging girls to transition

my wish to be a boy may have come true