Mixing Adolescence and the 1AC

By: “A Girl in Texas LD”

Regardless of what circuit or team you’re from, one constant which we can all attest to is that we are growing into adults within the community that we call high school speech and debate. We change. Changes can be physical, mental, or social, but at the end of the day, we’ll be different people- for better or for worse. We might be that freshman who’s trembling during their first round, but we will gain confidence. We might not know what a “k” is, but we can become one of the best kritikal debaters in the nation. 

More importantly, as we change, we form our identity. Each identity is unique, and finding ours rouses quite a bit of stories and experiences to share. The purpose of these poems is to share stories and experiences which define my identity as a womxn and also illuminate how deep-rooted inequality and sexism affects me and people like me. 


I looked in the bathroom mirror

Against the dingy walls

The putrid smell. 


Blood down my pants, 

What to do

Not a girl in my vicinity.


She wings her eyeliner out


She puts on heels


She puts on a blouse,

Now she’s business casual.

She looks at her chest,

And guilt hits her. 

Puts on a sweatshirt, 

Old and grey,

Hoping nobody would: 




Vote down,

Because of her D’s.

Not so confident. 


I love him, 

I really do.

But who’s better, 

Me or you?

I went to the lobby and sobbed,

Scared and worried. 

She came to comfort me,

But it was only you, 

I wanted.



State points, 

To be the best.

Can this drive us apart?

I hope not, 

Because I love you. 


I’m not quiet.


I’m confrontational. 

Did you call me a bitch?

I shouldn’t prep with you,


But why 

I ask you, 

Demand in my eyes.

You laugh at me,

Tell me,

Calm down!

But I won’t.


To scream, 

To debate, 

To cut a K,

About what I hate.

I pull up my case,

Fem 1NC.

Hours worked and words strung, 

I look at my male peers,

I hold my tongue. 

I’ll read a counterplan instead, 



She laughs, 

Falls in love. 


Not men, 

Love her. 


Is she strong?

Good, or smart?

Do they admire her?

Does fear ring in their ears when they hear pairings are up?

I wonder if they worry, 

About her winning the round. 

Do they think and question, 

What will she say in round?


They don’t.

Admiration takes solace,

To a friend called security. 

She’s lesser,

She knows her place.

They know theirs,

And they feel safe, 

Not intimidated. 

As soon as she’s better than them, 

Their feelings go away. 

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