I hope you will consider purchasing this novel or entering the giveaway below because the stories of the young women within the pages of girlSpoken are the stories of young women all across the world. Let their words inspire you to be the best you can be, to help advocate for change where change is needed and to embrace the wonderful, beautiful, woman that you are today. With the publishers permission I have included a poem from the novel girlSpoken below. It is honest, shocking and reflective of how the media is influencing the self perception of young women. Strong and suggestive language is included.
(Note: please continue to read on after the poem for more information regarding girlSpoken and the contest details)
I am Woman
I am woman. Hear me roar.
But hang on just one second,
I have to apply some lip-gloss and fix my hair.
How do I look, sir?
Do you approve?
Am I fuckable?
Do I turn you on?
We are so many things,
With so much more to offer
Than what we allow ourselves to show.
It wouldn’t be very ladylike of us to hold our own door open.
Now, sit up straight and cover your mouth when you cough.
Smile with your teeth (not your gums) and suck in your gut.
We’re tiptoeing through this world,
Watching our steps so as not to disturb.
We’re joining the ocean of expectations,
And we’re sinking like stones.
Applying red nail polish, I cover the imperfections
With the bloodshed of all those women
Who sacrificed themselves for the right
To be a woman in man’s clothing.
Our stomachs scream for change.
We kneel over toilets and plunge our fingers down our throats,
To gain control, to purge our frustrations,
Throwing-up everything that really matters
For everything that doesn’t.
Ashamed of my hypocrisy,
I’m screaming as loud as I can,
But my own hand covers my mouth.
I complain about my thighs, my ass, my nose, and apply make-up daily.
I’m running out of air. It’s getting cold and dark in here.
Illuminate me with your experience,
And teach me how to fly.
My wings are rusty, but it’s my turn
To leave the nest and all the rest
To glide along.
So come on, girl, let’s fight.
It’s not over yet.
To every female doctor, lawyer, priest and mother,
I bow my head and thank you for the inspiration.
Talk to me, women.
I’m ready and willing to listen.
Don’t be ashamed of your age,
Be proud of your wisdom.
Because you, me, she
Are choking on magazine advertisements.
We’re being poisoned by the ink
That sinks into our bodies,
That’s programming us with
“21 ways to please your man? & “15 steps to a firmer stomach.”
To all women with whom I’ve been blessed to converse,
I say this:
There is hope. It’s never to late.
If you just open your eyes and see that we have so much to offer this world –
You and me.
For, I am woman. Hear me roar
(as I sneak into the bathroom and kneel on the floor).
Caitlin Hutt, 18
(page 95-97 girlSpoken)
girlSpoken from pen, brush & tongue
Publisher: Second Story Press
Published: October 31, 2007
Format: Trade Paperback ($19.95 CDN)
From the Publisher:
From pen, brush, and tongue, girls and young women (ages 13-19) speak their truths, tell it like it is, and call for change. This collection of creative works is an exploration of young women's identities, self-expression and voice. Their voices are quirky and flirtatious, strong and adventurous, outraged and scared —and often are searching for truth. Taken collectively, the girls pieces read like a whispered conversation between friends. The contributors want to tell other girls that they are not alone in what they're experiencing as they navigate adolescence. Each contributor invites you into a piece of her life.
Giveaway Details: Thank you very much to Second Story Press for offering a copy of this novel as a giveaway on my blog!