Articles,, Poem, Poems

Poem: different shoulders

A woman wears a spaghetti strap top

different shoulders

“ladies, make sure to cover up”

“oh, her dress was so short”

“she was asking for it”

“distracting me”


the strap was smaller than three fingers

a strip of my belly was seen

i got sent home


always “they were staring because the girls were not covering up”

never “the boys shouldn’t be staring”


“you come to school to learn

not show off your body”

we can’t focus

when you’re showing so much skin


too short and you’re a sl*t

too long and you’re a prude


why am i learning not to distract boys

when they should be learning not to sexualize me


i can’t wear tank top

but a guy can wear a muscle tee

are their shoulders different?


Mahika Natarajan

Hi my name is Mahika! I'm a junior and I enjoy writing and reading a lot. I've been learning Indian classical dance for 10 years now and also play the tabla, an Indian percussion instrument. I love coffee, rainy days and playing with my dog.

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  • Monisha Bommu

    Thank you for sharing that poem. It really struck deep with me, because it has become a reality, not just me, but for everyone. This really embodies that really well.

    September 21, 2022 at 5:46 pm
  • Saisha Dangle

    I really love the contrasting between what clothes guys and girls wear and the different perspectives. Recently, many schools have become more strict on unfair dress-codes and I think that this poem powerfully symbolizes the changes.

    September 26, 2022 at 9:47 am
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