If you can hold onto hope when all around you

Are holding bigger pay checks than you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

Then spot when they take their ideas from you;

If you can wait but tell yourself you’re climbing,

And speak the truth, without sounding cross,

And tiptoe around as you find good timing,

To dare share a few of your thoughts with your boss;


If you can dream – but not expect too much;

If you can think – but not in a threatening way;

If you can meet with men, and with subtle touch

Make them think you’re impressed by each word that they say;

If you can bear to contribute to conversation

While knowing you’re liked only when you agree,

Or see yourself cheated by legislation,

Which taxes essentials a luxury fee;


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And graciously give someone else all the credit,

And listen to old men discussing abortion

While young ones post rape jokes about you on reddit;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To age gracefully, without aging a bit,

And deny yourself food, though there’s nothing in you

And be makeup-free, naturally gorgeous, and fit;


If you can dress for dinner and keep your virtue,

But show enough skin to be tempting to touch,

If you smile through all of the cruelties which hurt you,

And always say “sorry” a little too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With a two-minute chore from your multitask world,

You’ll have 83 cents in a world full of dollars,

……And – which is more – you’ll be a Woman, my girl!