They said: walk with a spring in your step – girls walk lightly with a smile,
They said: no one dresses like that – this skirt is too short,
They said: no one dresses like that – this skirt is too long,
They said: sky-blue panty hose only fit with sky-blue clothes, red – with red,
Home Control assiduously inspected even the color’s shades.
They said: stop eating, you’ll be like a cow
[I often gazed at cows. Conclusion:
no similarity. Cows are very pretty.]
They said: eat, otherwise you won’t be able to have children – you master of the fast.
They said: but if you want children, you can have them without men, children don’t
[Nor men – children, was my conclusion,
according to this logic. QED.]
They said: live how you want, you know what you’re doing – everything was said
Playing handball – a boy’s game,
Hockey – a boy’s game,
Swimming – a game without gender, but revealing it.
After that, they said: girl’s don’t fight – when I kicked a classmate in the nose
Who decided to cop a feel of my burgeoning breasts,
They said: I wouldn’t want such a daughter, so help me God –
When they found a bag of peas in my backpack, though I battled with the boys
Who would have been, we should understand, fitting sons;
They told my mom: she’ll grow up a lesbian, look what she does with those girls
In that room, pretending to play doctor;
They said: everything outside the norms is a perversion,
They said: even the neighbor fixed herself, from a tomboy to a taxi driver, in
They said: don’t talk to the other neighbor who is always trying
To fly like a bird from her balcony, and one time she succeeded,
They said: you goat, you can’t drive, and then they said: for a girl, you drive well;
They said: do what you know best, though they didn’t think I knew anything.
They said: “NO” so many times for so long and so persistently
That I became the girl in the tower of glass, lulled by rosy illusions,
An obedient, deafened girl, layed out in the coffin of the beauty myth.
But one day, I woke up – kissed by feminism’s frog.
I woke up and said: you can all just fuck off!
Translation by Rimas Uzgiris of a poem „Pabudimas“ by Gabrielė Labanauskaitė