An Open Letter to the Men Who Told Me to Stay Out of Adult Conversations

By Emily Palermo

So, maybe we’re the 
generation of the selfie,
but we’re also the generation
that grew up in a tainted,
Photoshopped world
with every impossible beauty standard
shoved down our throat
through a tube
because eating has become
a guilty pleasure
and condemning beauty ideals
won’t go straight to our thighs.

And if, by chance,
we are able to destroy the
demons that you’ve planted 
inside of us with your
constant advertisements and rules
that play behind our eyelids and 
take root in our brains,
then let us take our fucking pictures
and capture that moment when
we felt beautiful because all this world
has taught us is that 
our beauty is the greatest
measure of our worth.

Scoff at our phones all you like,
these delicate extensions of
our fingers, but know that
through this technology
that you couldn’t even
begin to understand,
we have smudged the entire
world with our fingerprints.
We are the generation of knowledge,
and we are learning more than
any that came before us.
So, frown at my typing fingers;
I am using them to grasp power
by the throat.

Try to invalidate us,
but we’ve heard our
parents talking about
the world’s crashing and burning
since we had sprung from the womb.
We know you’ve fucked up,
and we’re angry about it-
the kind of anger that
fuels knowledge,
that I feel in my veins every time
I read the news from my phone
before school,
that sticks in my throat like honey
in a debate;
the kind of anger that simmers,
that sharpens teeth into daggers,
that makes this generation more dangerous
than you could have ever imagined.

We are the generation of change,
and goddammit, we’re coming.

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One thought on “An Open Letter to the Men Who Told Me to Stay Out of Adult Conversations

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