Wednesday, February 18, 2009

feminism is not a dirty word

Joyce Stevens

Because women's work is never done and is underpaid or unpaid or boring or repetitious and we're the first to get the sack and what we look like is more important than what we do and if we get raped it's our fault and if we get bashed we must have provoked it and if we raise our voices we're nagging bitches and if we enjoy sex we're nymphos and if we don't we're frigid and if we love women it's because we can't get a "real" man and if we ask our doctor too many questions we're neurotic and/or pushy and if we expect community care for children we're selfish and if we stand up for our rights we're aggressive and "unfeminine" and if we don't we're typical weak females and if we want to get married we're out to trap a man and if we don't we're unnatural and because we still can't get an adequate safe contraceptive but men can walk on the moon and if we can't cope or don't want a pregnancy we're made to feel guilty about abortion and ...... for lots and lots of other reasons we are part of the women's liberation movement.

Adrienne Rich

There is a cop who is both prowler and father:
he comes from your block, grew up with your brothers,
had certain ideals.
You hardly know him in his boots and silver badge,
on horseback, one hand touching his gun.

You hardly know him but you have to get to know him:
he has access to machinery that could kill you.
He and his stallion clop like warlords among the trash,
his ideals stand in the air, a frozen cloud
from between his unsmiling lips.

And so, when the time comes, you have to turn to him,
the maniac's sperm still greasing your thighs,
your mind whirling like crazy. You have to confess
to him, you are guilty of the crime
of having been forced.

And you see his blue eyes, the blue eyes of all the family
whom you used to know, grow narrow and glisten,
his hand types out the details
and he wants them all
but the hysteria in your voice pleases him best.

You hardly know him but now he thinks he knows you:
he has taken down you worst moment
on a machine and filed it in a file.
He knows, or thinks he knows, how much you imagined;
he knows, or thinks he knows, what you secretly wanted.

He has access to machinery that could get you put away;
and if, in the sickening light of the precinct,
and if, in the sickening light of the precinct,
your details sound like a portrait of your confessor,
will you swallow, will you deny them, will you lie your way home?

He Was More
Lisa Demsky

He was more credible.

As i was passed out
unable to speak
He was more able.
As i tried to struggle
but couldn't move
He was more stable.
And i tried to understand
and i tried to feel
and i wanted to hate
but i
But he
He was more.

But i felt him
and heard him
and heard her say no
and she tried to scream
but was silent.

And i wanted to cry
to feel
to scream
but she was confused
and she

The drama was heard
The lights blinked twice
The poor players performed
like real life.
He was silent.
He was respectable.
He was more.
And the players all talked
and the fools all believe
they were more credible.
And with all of their sound
she almost believed them

She wanted to cry
but stopped herself.
She blinked once
and then her eyes dried
and i tried
and she tried to explain
And she explained to the judge, but
He was more credible.

When the stage was cleared
the audience roared,
the lights blinked once
and then died.
They were

more, as i held my head up
and searched for my pride
i was
and i tried to explain
and i wanted to scream
and i tried to hate

And alone in my room
i finally cried.
He was upset
His life was disturbed
His life was more
He was
more, she was
i was
was raped.

Circles in the Water
Marge Piercy

There is no difference between being raped
and being pushed down a flight of cement steps
except that the wounds also bleed inside.

There is no difference between being raped
and being run over by a truck
except that afterward men ask if you enjoyed it.

There is no difference between being raped
and being bit on the ankle by a rattlesnake
except that people ask if your skirt was short
and why you were out alone anyhow.

There is no difference between being raped
and going head first through a windshield
except that afterward you are afraid
not of cars
but half the human race.

The rapist is your boyfriend's brother.
He sits beside you in the movies eating popcorn.
Rape fattens on the fantasies of the normal male
like a maggot in garbage.

Fear of rape is a cold wind blowing
all of the time on a woman's hunched back.
Never to stroll alone on a sand road through pine woods,
never to climb a trail across a bald
without that aluminum in the mouth
when I see a man climbing toward me.

Never to open the door to a knock
without that razor just grazing the throat.
The fear of the dark side of hedges,
the back seat of the car, the empty house
rattling keys like a snake's warning.
The fear of the smiling man
in whose pocket is a knife.
The fear of the serious man
in whose fist is locked hatred.

All it takes to cast a rapist is seeing your body
as jackhammer, as blowtorch, as adding-machine-gun.
All it takes is hating that body
your own, your self, your muscle that softens to flab.

All it takes is to push what you hate,
what you fear onto the soft alien flesh.
To bucket out invincible as a tank
armored with treads without senses
to possess and punish in one act,
to rip up pleasure, to murder those who dare
live in the leafy flesh open to love.

After The 'Ball'
Lilian Tait

After the fingernails
are cleaned
and the debris examined
After the pubic hair
is sponged and tweezed
vagina scraped for
to be specified
After the bruise
of a throat is measured
and photographs
of other welts
are checked
for abnormalities
in the bite
After the p.m.,
After the forms are filed
and the mortician
restores with art
spaced underneath
minus teeth
to create
a little smile
After the final
farewell celebration
After dark
After light
After all
It might have been me
After the ball...

robbery ...... or rape?

"Mr Smith, you were held up at gunpoint on the main street?"
"Did you struggle with the robber?"
"Why not?"
"He was armed."
"Then you made a conscious decision to comply with his demands rather than resist?"
"Did you scream? Cry out?"
"I see. Have you ever been held up before?"
"Have you ever given money away?"
"Yes, of course."
"And you did so willingly?"
"What are you getting at?"
"Well, lets put it like this, Mr Smith. You've given away money in the past. In fact you've got quite a reputation for philanthropy. How can we be sure you weren't contriving to have your money taken by force?"
"Listen, if I wanted..."
"Never mind. What time did this hold up take place?"
"About 11p.m."
"You were out on the street at 11p.m.? Doing what?"
"Just walking."
"Just walking? You know it's dangerous being out on the street late at night. Weren't you aware that you could have been held up?"
"I hadn't thought about it."
"What were you wearing?"
"Let's see - a suit."
"An expensive suit?"
"Well yes, I'm a successful lawyer, you know."
"In other words, Mr Smith, you were walking around the streets late at night in a suit that practically advertised the fact that you might be a good target for some easy money, isn't that so? I mean, if we didn't know better, Mr Smith, we might even think that you were asking for this to happen, mightn't we?"

any parallels?

normally i wouldn't post so many poems all at once, but i think it's important to see these all together.

i first came across these in high school, in either year 11 or 12 lit class. my teacher was amazing.

whenever the subject of feminism comes up, one of my friends always says how she's not a feminist, she doesn't like feminism & she would rather not work & stay at home, etc etc. which is all well & good, but feminism is about having the CHOICE to do that, or to work, or to have an abortion, or to have your boobs hanging out if you want to, etc etc.

i could talk about this forever, but i think i'll stop now. what are YOUR thoughts?


Bambola said...

I found this post far too confronting for me to be honest.
I think some men make it a lot worse for some women.
I also think some women go looking for the fight.

These comments are meant solely in relation to the Women's Liberation Movement.

Shannon (A beautiful Dream) said...

That he was more poem is terrible and beautiful in equal measures.

I am a feminist because I CHOOSE to want to be a housewife to a millionaire. lol.