Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Pandemic Feminism: A Poem for the Rising Generation

 


A poem for my students
inspired by the Fall 2020 syllabus:
Many Ways to Be a Woman:
Intersectional Traditions of Feminism and Femininity
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Would you rather be a bad feminist than no feminist at all?
Would you bake a pie even if you may get judged for it?
Would you wear pynk no matter your genitals or gender?
Would you detox your feminine and masculine programing, even if it gets called dirty?

 
Let’s hope you will because we don’t just need another RBG
We need another you, each of you, all of you,
Whether you sit in the supreme court or in a medical lab
What you know, what you do, what you say, what you think matters.


This year reminds us that life and choice can be cut short
In kitchens from the 1950s, Christmases and Weddings from the 2010’s,
Summoning up nightmares of red cloaks, white hoods, and vampire pregnancies.
Yet through it all we repeat the words: don’t let the bastards get you down.


Because sometimes #wetoo find ourselves down rabbit holes,
Tied up or cut down in board rooms, doctor’s offices, or red rooms of pain.
But we fear not: we know about power, about speaking up, about liberation.
Our sisters, brothers, and siblings have shown us the way up and out together.

 

That is why we march in the streets of Somalia, Kenya, and Pakistan,
That is why we call out the names: Khalil, Floyd, Taylor, Garner, Brown, and Martin.
That is why we reject the master’s tools, that is why we call for reform and abolition.
That is why we build bridges of our backs: so future generations can escape with their lives.

 
We would rather there be bad feminists than no feminists at all.
Because the sisterhood is still powerful
When it reaches out across racial, class, and geographic divides,
And when it unites the whole queer, trans, intersex, and non-binary family.
 

The futures of feminism is yours to write; show us new ways to be a woman,
a man, a creatively gendered and sexually empowered human being.
Moving forward, may you stay focused - don’t forget the small things -
And remember: what you know, what you do, what you say, what you think matters.
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