‘Shrinking Women’

Lily Myers, performing for Wesleyan University at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. This poem was awarded Best Love Poem at the tournament.  What does it suggest about “differential socialization” and “gender norms”?  Here’s the text.


4 responses to “‘Shrinking Women’

  1. i agree with Myers and her critique of society. there is a constant pressure on women to look a certain way. no one should be told how much weight to lose and how skinny they should look. the media is clearly to blame for pushing these ideas. billboards, magazines and movies are constantly telling us this is what pretty and skinny looks like and if you want to be this popular and look this good you need to starve yourself until your size no longer exists. this message is disturbing and doesn’t do anyone any good. if we feed into these ideas we will only become more self obsessed and overly conscious people with a constant need for approval from everyone.

  2. I could not agree more with Myer’s poem. Women are put into a society where we are expected to watch what we eat, and how we look. While men scarf down plates of food without a second thought. We dont mean to fall into this lifestyle but its poems like these that make us open our eyes to what life should be about. Women are entitled to food, speaking our minds, and acting how we please just as much as men. We have become obsessed with this picture perfect lifestyle we see for ourselves, yet little do we know its almost unobtainable.

  3. I loved this this video and also agree with Lily Myers. She emphasizes on the size of women and the differences between gender roles. Just yesterday I realized how unconsciously I too, act in this “seen but not heard” way at my job. I only speak to my managers when I’m spoken too (all 3 of them males) the women work in the back offices while the men work up front. In one of Myers’ stanzas she says she starts off every question in her classroom with sorry, this specific stanza stood out to me because it’s something I do all the time. For example as I mentioned before I speak if I’m spoken to and if I do have to ask a question or speak to one of my managers I start by saying “sorry to bother you …” As if I was a disturbance. I really loved this poem because it made me realize how in society especially work wise, women are sometimes looked down upon by men regardless of education.

  4. Lily Meyers does a great job in explaining through her lyrical talent how gender norms are still very relevant in our society today. As she describes how her brother is expected to speak his mind freely without any worry as opposed to how she must carefully think before she expresses herself. I agree with may of the things that Meyers points out in her poem. We are in 2013 nearly approaching 2014 and women have come a great deal in terms of making high achievements in all fields. However despite this gender norms are still relevant in our society. As Meyers points out, a woman is far more vulnerable to criticism than a man is, which is unfortunate.

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