a small guide on how to be a good girl

i. do everything they want you to. wear clothes that are not too short or not too long. wear shoes that make you look smaller. do not, and i repeat, do not have piercings and tattoos—they look dirty on you. after all, you do not own your body.

ii. displace your beliefs and put them all in stacks of paper. shove them all in your mouth and don’t talk unless you’re spoken to. if this is not enough, cut your tongue and sew your mouth shut. always remember: your opinion doesn’t matter. you’re just a girl.

iii. if they stare at you, ignore it. if they call you names and speak to you as if you’re not human. treat it as a compliment. you’re pretty.

iv. never aim for greater things. the worst thing for a woman to have is ambitions.

v. finally, smile and keep those legs open. soon enough, you’ll forget who you ever were. you are worse than nothing—
you are just a girl.

You may submit your poems, short stories, comics, illustrations, essays, feature stories, and news to Ibalio Stories via email to ibaliostorytellers@gmail.com or ibaliostories@gmail.com.

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