“Gender equality” overused and normalized.
Just spilt that word thinking they’re meaning it, but without meaning it.
Hide their wrongs under the mask of equality, but do the completely opposite.
Are they kidding with word “equality” or are they kidding with the world, that make this word just a word we can spill?
inbuilt/the pains of womanhood
i. the infant sees the sickeningly bright flourescent lights of a dreary operation theatre
when she is born, her mother screaming in pain, she struggles to grasp
the fact that it is over-her challenging ordeal, a test of the human spirit, but her child's has only just begun
a lifetime of broken hearts, debilitating cramps, moods that fluctuate-anger, sadness, despair
as often as the azure butterflies flitting to and from the viridescent leaves of cornflowers aglow in the early light
ii. she enters adolescence, unsure, tepid, hanging onto dregs, remembrances, stolen of childhood innocence
the walls are slippery, her arms tired and she lets go- into the chasm of impending adulthood
the sheets under her are stained red for the very first time, a mark of the womanhood she yearns for
her thoughts overflow, new romances, feelings only hushed and gossiped about in
slumber parties underneath rose-coloured, soft blankets amongst the girls she grows up with
iii. sounds filter through the tension-filled air as the restless, evolved woman approaches motherhood
the bedside monitor beeps unsteadily, wavering, the balance of mortality and those that defy it
ice chips gravitate to her like icarus to the upending sky, some relief from the agony of the miracle of life
a lover stands by, patient as the rain clouds in summer, grasps her sweat-riddled fingers- perhaps it is a fever dream
sedated, calmed down, her daughter, cradled in her lap, swaddled by an adoring gaze- she will be loved, as a woman can
Gender equality is a romanticized term. As if we could all be equal. Physiologically speaking men are usually physically stronger than women. However, with cultural shifts in ideology, self-actualization is in high demand. Beyonce’s single ladies are running the world, and transgendered people have recently received empowering protections in the workforce. Ultimately, we are all as empowered as we’d like to be. Even science has been persuaded to deny nature. Nature has denied us predictability. So I’d call it equitable. Isn’t it romantic?
A Gentle Reminder
People will speak of our power
as if it can be given or taken away.
Forgetting how it has been earned,
passed down through generations,
continually tested time and again.
At times it may feel a heavy burden.
There will always be those who wish
to drown out our voice with their own.
Fill our heads with antiquated values,
to hold our hand when we are capable
of standing firmly on our own.
Let them be threatened by a mind
that refuses to waiver at any cost.
That refuses to be torn down.
There will always be those who wish
to remind us of the place we hold,
of natures infinite wisdom where
a woman is concerned.
In those moments of doubt,
we must remember to seek out
the wisdom that lives inside of us,
in the pain that we encounter,
in each challenge we rise to meet.
As there are so many more ahead.
I know my worth. Yet, she doesn’t seem to have a clue.
I hand over a printed copy of my resume and she skims it over in effort to shape her first question. I can tell she hasn’t read it.
She hasn’t a clue what I have done, where I have come from or who I am. She only pretends to care because that is polite in an interview.
Yet, I know everything about her. I can tell confidence is manufactured purely by her professional accomplishments. I act impressed by these because that is what she needs. I am not an asshole, afterall.
She is not entirely comfortable with herself. Subtle changes in her voice give way to her insecurities. It is all too clear that she defines herself through her job and that, without it, she would not know who she is.
She is actually good at her job. Yet, has lost the passion for it. A remnant of a younger more free version of herself is revealed in her authentic smile. Yet, she suppresses this part of herself too.
She references the first sentence within my resume twice during the 40 minute interview. She cuts me off multiple times, answers a couple texts and attempts to use a bunch of professional jargon to try to through me off my game.
She does this because she thinks she has the power here. A small part of me felt sorry for her that she really has no clue how much she has conformed to the narrow-minded idea that a half-wrinkled suit jacket and mere 3 years of management experience puts her on top of the world.
So I sit patiently. I let her have her moment because I’m not oblivious to the fact that she has something she is trying to prove to herself here. That’s her internal battle today.
Like other bosses I have had in the past, I can tell she is no different. Similar to the others, her interest lies with the fact that I am a young accomplished female that she assumes is too naive to know her own worth. She tests her theory by trying to intimidate me with her words. She waits for the moment where I assume others habitually fall in line and begin accommodating her banter. Her face becomes painted with confusion as I offer no such accommodations.
She mistakes my kindness for a lack of confidence. Most do until they get to know me.
She begins to realize this as the interview endures.
All she sees is a young female she thinks she can bully because that is what the corporate world has taught her is okay. All her actions tell me is that she considers this a win because at least this time she is not the one being supressed, she is the supressor.
It's sad really.
She calls my bluff only to come to the delayed conclusion that I do actually know what I am doing. As a result her interest grows. Yet, to me, she has already lost.
You see, this is how the game goes. They have either shown me that they value me if I fall prey to their manipulation or they value me if I outsmart them within their own game. What they fail to realize is that I don’t play games.
Despite her gut, she tries to play hardball with me once more. She attempts to evidence why her opinion of my monetary worth is objective and accurate. Yet, even in her attempts to defend her offer she can’t help but reveal her own flaws in the language of her own argument.
I use her own data to help her better understand what the numbers mean before I decline the job offer and leave without truly showing her what I actually am worth. All she did was prove to me she doesn’t deserve to know.
I then decided to start my own company.
Woman will not have their voices taken away
We have been ignored for far too long
We are united against oppression
We are not to be sexually harassed
We are strong
We have had to fight for all our rights
Just because a politician has a vote
Doesn’t mean they can take away our freedoms
Our rights to our own bodies
We have a right to equal pay
We are a united sisterhood
We our daughters of our Heavenly Father
We are blessed with minds and body that are strong enough to endure
To achieve anything
Don’t even think of treading on us
Don’t settle for demeaning conversations
For the endless drum of interruptions
men making feminism about them
who want to tell you, again,
the story of emasculation
Have no patience for:
“you can’t even talk to chicks anymore”
complaints that a small part of their freedom
has been re-examined,
oppressors have to think before they voice
do to you when no one is looking
Don’t settle for:
- strangers’ hands on your teenage thighs
- ‘accidental’ grinding on public transport
- bosses who come too close and invite you out for a drink
- working twice as hard with half the recognition
- never being listened to
- seeing your ideas live on in the works of others
- the worst role in every group project, the smallest room in every house,
meaningless apologies, men expelling their ego full of toxic waste
who comes crawling
when they need you
who ever makes you feel
expectations traded for club entries
late-night dinner dates or the name cock-tease
’But why don’t you come to mine, are you scared? I won't hurt you'
People making a verbal show
of concern and affection
with none of the action
others desperate for action and wingeing
the guilt-trip into unprotected sex
& “it’s because I love you”
the space you weren’t allowed to have
the friends you couldn’t talk to, the people you couldn’t see
he’d get upset
Don’t settle for
never demanding an apology from the men who never get your name right
whispering baby through the night
lovers who compare you to their exes
on a weekly basis
and blame you when you get upset
and never thank you for the late nights the words the time
you wasted loving them
for less than you deserve
won’t give you anything
8 years shot to hell
I gave it all that I had but it wasn’t enough
I married so young and I knew it'd be tough
But they don’t teach you the skills to take care of yourself
Or that marriage can truly impact on your health
The first year started out with a rocky beginning
By the end, my pregnancy had both of us grinning
The second flew by with some struggles as well
We were such happy parents but going through hell
We decided to move country to start a new life
So we moved to Australia, just to be faced with new strife
Our income was low but we loved life and each other
By the third year we had started to bag one another
Suddenly, there was a side to this man I had not seen
He would cuss, get angry and had started to be mean
Yes life was stressful and moving at a slow pace
But that’s life, and these times you're supposed to embrace
Life moves so damn fast and the years fly on by
When I look back at the years I just sit there and cry
We had such an opportunity, such a big chance
And we let it slip by, without even a glance
We were just so caught up on the trivial things
So we never addressed any of our bad feelings
We let them fester until they would explode
I would hold in my feelings, god I thought I'd implode
You were scary to confront, I feared how you'd react
Would you yell or be broody, planning your counterattack
You could never take criticism not even from me
But you were always telling me how communication is key
You want to know what I'm thinking, and why I am so sad
But you don’t understand that you've driven me mad
One second you're fine, and then the next you're not
You switch randomly between freezing and hot
So that sums up the fourth year and most of the fifth
Have another child they said, don't you know they're a gift?
Well I had another but it didn’t do much
Except trap me even more in this marriage of such
Towards the end of the fifth that’s when all hell broke loose
When your mental health crashed from the workplace abuse
I pretty much raised our kids alone for that year
But I suck as a mum, from you, I did hear
The sixth year was intense but I held on through it all
I just focused on work and the kids I recall
I tried my best to move forward move on with my life
I even tried to forget that I was your wife
The sixth year passed and now on to the next
When I finally picked myself up in the job context
I landed the job of my dreams that I worked so hard for
But you took that from me, reasons why I'm unsure
Were you jealous of me or of all my success
Because I lost my job due to you being “depressed”
Since then its been harder than I thought life could be
I'm surprised that I haven't hung myself from a tree
For now I'm in the eighth year of this marriage of mine
And all I can do is pretend it is all fine
But its not and I'm sad and I want to be dead
But I'm scared to place that gun to my head
One day it will end but I want you to know
That I did all that I could and put on a good show
But I can't keep this up and I can't always be strong
I'm a drama queen you will say but you couldn't be more wrong.
Dream of a blue lady
The blue lady got so worked up, decided to insisting on hanging clothes outside the window, regardless the warning from everyone. And her reckless attitude rankled me even more. But she did it any way, in this rainy day, and the slippery window-sill was not enough of a handle to hold, and there she suddenly falling out of the window…
What should I do? One voice was saying she deserved it.. but the other voice said, just go checking on her. I peeked outside the window. She was struggling to hold onto the edge of the building tight… She didn’t quite fall off yet…
Quick, I called Dan to the rescuing scene. A tall man as him, can easily reach her hands from far distance. I was holding onto him too, so that he won’t get dragged away with her. This blue lady finally got inside…
I laid a warm cozy bedding for her to warm up her body… her shivering body finally calmed down… face coming back to warm buttery color…
I ended up my dream with a soliloquy…
Was that me that reckless blue lady? the voice calling her deserving the fate of falling that’s from me? the one calling Dan to the rescue scene, where in reality, he’s actually thousands miles away in Hawaii right now? or the one who brought warm woven wool blanket to wrap her up and drying her up me? Which one is actually my voice? Why would I be feeling so many voices torn at all different directions all at once, the same time even in my dreams? Annoyance, justification, hatred, judgement, sympathy, kindness, and tender feelings… they are all me?!
Life is interestingly a big pot of messed stew, with all flavors, emotions, sensations, all boiled up together, and through me and me only, through the ups and downs, that then finally found the divinity inside.