Aysha Jerald

Poet, Feminist, and Insurgent-In-The-Making

My Works

(of Possible Art)

The Average Girl

I was told the average girl begins to plan her wedding at the age of seven. This insinuates that at the age of seven, the average girl is already wrapped up in the fantastical whims of her future, believing that prince charming is on his way and happily-ever-after close behind. This insinuates that at the age of seven, the average girl is looking forward to the picture of a well-dressed man before her eyes, walking towards him without a care for anything else in the world. This insinuates that at the age of seven, the average girl is thinking about her wedding more than her career, her aspirations, her goals, her academics, her livelihood, or her calling.

That should insinuate fear.

For if the average seven-year-old girl is mature enough to hear wedding bells, she should also be mature enough to hear the shouts and cries of feminists, who are fighting for something far greater than a diamond ring. Unfortunately, we live in a society where we feed little girls fairy-tales and feed little boys guidelines. As they grow, they remember what they read, and although the fairy-tales might change mediums, the guidelines stay the same. Because while women are wedged in fantasy, they are also oppressed by reality. They can hardly see the difference in paychecks, the government laws meant to trap them, or the harassment that is too often disguised as praise. They can hardly see the happily-never-after their gender endures.

I was told the average girl begins to plan her wedding at the age of seven. Perhaps, nothing is wrong with that. However, the average girl needs to start planning other things as well, so that by the time she’s an adult, she’s not waiting for a man. Change needs to occur and begin with these little girls. Because despite the female advocators, politicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and soldiers working to incite change, there are still some women out there planning their weddings.

Coffee

You will have one of two reactions towards the above word. Either your insides will melt at the familiar smell of cream and sugar figuratively wafting into your nose, or your neck will retract back, your upper lip will lift into a scowl, and your brows will knit in utterly plain disgust. My grandfather used to say there were only three people in the world –those who take it black, those who take it creamy, and those who don’t take it at all.

However, coffee is more than a delightful or distasteful beverage. It is a medium in which people all over the world use to connect with something. In Italy, cafes are considered a classroom where employees practice the mechanics behind the espresso machine and dabble in the shaping of foam. In Ethiopia, coffee is a natural resource that has fostered cultural traditions and business relationships with other countries. In America, coffee is used to keep the busybodies awake, specifically the young, student addicts who eat and breathe Starbucks on a daily basis.

Coffee is evidently a governing force. It has been dominating college campuses, first dates, and tea bags since the beginning of the eighteenth century. But before I lose all you coffee-haters to my history lesson, I want to bring a few things to your attention. While you could care less about the black liquid that has poisoned the minds of your peers and created an army of Gold Star Starbucks members, you must still wonder why the beverage is so popular despite its naturally bitter taste.

Honestly, I couldn’t tell you.

Still, that should not dissuade you. Coffee can do some amazing things. It can turn a cold morning into a warm one. It can give that extra productive boost to one’s system during an all-nighter. It can serve as breakfast and lunch to a person who only has five dollars to their name, and it can turn a terribly bad mood into a genuinely happy one.

So, coffee lovers, next time you go to a café, don’t take your coffee or your barista for granted. They’re both working hard for you. And, for my coffee-haters, skip out on the hot chocolate or chai-tea for once. Ask the bartender for a little cream, sugar, and love, and I guarantee you’ll taste coffee differently.