skin for the male gaze

This poem is my comment to society and the objectification of women: the systemic patriarchy that has made some women feel that they need to show more in order to feel beautiful. It’s not that I don’t believe in showing skin, I just don’t believe in showing skin for the male gaze.

I don’t
Believe in skin–
Not for the male gaze.

Not the tight and skimpy costumes
To move and shake your skin to the audience
Not the cutting your clothes
To feel like you have to show more in order to feel attractive
Not the bareness of the body
To champion yourself off to the nearest buyer

Not for the patriarchy
Not for someone to tell me I’m pretty because they see more skin
And less of my soul
Not for Freud’s theory, for innate but fake pleasure
Not for the objectification of women
Not for the systemic sexism ingrained in society

And never,
For the male gaze.

Allison Hoang enjoys writing and learning about societal influences on an individual.