They tell me I am small, delicate, brittle
Reminding me though I am grown, I am little
Wrapped forever in red, no matter how clothed
I’m a creature for sin, as woman I’m loathed.
Encouraged to stay cloaked, below a hood I must cower
As I am an enticement to those who devour
And I must be vigilant, avoiding the wrath
Though it’s my own fault if I stray from the path.
I’m warned never to wander, for I’ll come to harm
Don’t look too close at things lurid with charm
Don’t talk to strangers, they’ll just feed me lies
They’ll sully my innocence, my most treasured prize.
For I’m not to decide, who might taste my sweets
To offer for pleasure this honey’d basket of treats
I am to wait patient, for one *they* deem of worth
(but I just get blank looks when I suggest Colin Firth)
Because my fate is decided, I shouldn’t rebel
I must be obedient, or I’ll go to hell
To suffer and burn, in a sulphur cloud haze
The devil delights in torturing me all the ways
My smile worries mother, when I ask her how
Why should I wait until I’m dead,
why can’t I have that now?
They send me to grandma’s so she can distract
My inquisitive mind from dark carnal acts
Afraid I’ll be devoured, like she nearly was
Saved by a woodsman, kept from the jaws
Of the wolf that lurks constant, in the shadows of day
She speaks of vigilance to keep tempting thoughts at bay
For there is nothing to be gained by the ravenous hunger
That seems all encompassing when we are younger.
The firm hand of a man is just what I need
He’ll cleave me with his blade, grow me large with his seed
I’ll provide him with children, my heart split in two
It’s just the thing that I’m destined to do.
She bades me attend her, put aside my desires
To learn to love quiet, to smother the fires
That rage in my heart, and will just cause me pain
Leave me lonely, and bitter, and likely insane.
She says that she’s happy, she prefers to be safe
But the walls of her cottage are starting to chafe
I refuse to abandon my desire to explore
To see what’s waiting just outside the door.
She sings me a lullabye, encouraging slumber
Insists woman’s duty is not to encumber
Those about her with worry, that she’s meant to soothe
To keep peace, and always make the way smooth.
Your voice is to greet,
in a manner that’s sweet
but of course in a way that isn’t too deep.
(Questions just lead to more,
hush up, shut the door,
girls who talk too much are a bore)
Your eyes should be bright,
a vapid delight,
to look round without gaining insight.
(To observe is to know,
there is pain when you grow,
it’s best to stay ignorant of such woe)
Your hands are to hold,
to give warmth when it’s cold,
to carry whatever you’re told.
(Don’t make fists, be compliant,
a girl who’s defiant
is a fool to think she is strong as a giant)
Your mouth with a smile,
no intent to beguile,
a pretty girl who frowns only looks vile.
(It’s important to blend,
and you have to pretend,
my own fragile ego upon this depends)
What big ears I must have, to grandma’s dismay
The better to hear the things she doesn’t say.
These things that they fear are not that which scares me
I’m more terrified to be leashed than set free
For so long I’ve kept quiet, my secrets intact
But it’s time to give up on my little girl act.
With the waxing of moon, my strength has increased
They might see just a girl, but soon they’ll know,
I’m the beast.