Feminine for Real

Photo Pink Dress by Lydia Miller. A photo of a young girl with short blond hair and a bright pink dress in a field of tall grass with a blue sky.

To the boy who told me I wasn’t “the real feminine” when I chose a tuxedo over a dress.

Do you really mean what you just said?

Could you repeat that please?

I’m “not the real feminine?”

What does that even mean?

You know I’m female right?

So I’m female but not feminine enough for your failure to understand that there is no real feminine, that there is no real masculine, there is only human?

So I’m female but I dress against your antiquated and overrated rules? Clothes have a purpose and it’s not to please you.

So I’m female. Does my power scare you? Does it un-man you? Does it terrify you that I’m not cowed by your confidence? That I’m not manipulated by your mansplain? That I’m not put down by your put-down?

So I will ask you again, do you really mean what you just said?

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Sadie Leiman is a member of the class of 2025 at Union High School in Vancouver, Washington. She loves to play piano, drums, baritone saxophone, and perform in theater. Recently, she played the role of Teen Fiona in Shrek! The Musical and discovered her love for singing. She also learned how to crochet and is enjoying crocheting stuffed animals. Sadie adores donuts (in fact, she had a donut-themed bat mitzvah) and fried chicken.
Accompanying photo: “Pink Dress” by Lydia Miller