mercifulserpent: (Default)
THOSE TEARS -- Chrystos

of a white woman who came to the group for Women of Color
only
her grief cut us into guilt while we clutched the straw
of this tiny square inch we have which we need
so desperately when we need so much more
We talked her into leaving
which took 10 minutes of our precious 60
Those legion white Lesbians whose feelings are hurt
because we have a Lesbians of Color Potluck
once a month for 2 hours
without them
Those tears of the straight woman
because we kicked out her boyfriend at the Lesbians only
poetry reading where no microphone was provided
& the room was much too small for all of us
shouting that we were imperialists
though I had spent 8 minutes trying to explain
to her that an oppressed people
cannot oppress their oppressor
She ignored me
charged into the room weeping & storming
taking up 9 minutes of our precious tiny square inch
Ah those tears
which could be jails, graves, rapists, thieves, thugs
those tears which are so puffed up with inappropriate grief
Those women who are used to having their tears work
rage at us
when they don't
We are not real Feminists they say
We do not love women
I yell back with a wet face
_Where are our jobs? Our apartments?_
_Our voices in parliament or congress?_
_Where is our safety from beatings, from murder?_
_You cannot even respect us to allow us_
_60 uninterrupted minutes for ourselves_

Your tears are chains
Feminism is the right of each woman
to claim her own life her own time
her own interrupted 60 hours
60 days
60 years
No matter how sensitive you are
if you are white
you are
No matter how sensitive you are
if you are a man
you are
We who are not allowed to speak have the right
to define our terms our turf
These facts are not debatable
Give us our inch
& we'll hand you a hanky

for MAV & DENISE, who guarded the door after the incident at the Lesbian
reading & thus, didn't get to hear the poetry

Her biography and criticism.
mercifulserpent: (Default)
Right to Life

A woman is not a pear tree
thrusting her fruit into mindless fecundity
into the world. Even pear trees bear
heavily one year and rest and grow the next.
An orchard gone wild drops few warm rotting
fruit in the grass but the trees stretch
high and wiry gifting the birds forty
feet up among inch long thorns.
broken atavistically from the smooth wood.
A woman is not a basket you place
your buns in to keep them warm. Not a brood
hen you can slip duck eggs under.
Not the purse holding the coins of
your descendants till you spend them in wars.
Not a bank where your genes collect interest
and interesting mutations in the tainted
rain, anymore than you are.
You plant your corn and harvest
it to eat or sell. You put the lamb
in the pasture to fatten and haul it in
to butcher for chops. You slice
the mountain in two for a road and gouge
the high plains for coal and the waters
run muddy for miles and years.
Fish die but you do not call them yours
unless you wished to eat them.
Now you legislate mineral rights in a woman.
You lay claim to her pastures for grazing,
fields for growing babies likes iceburg
lettuce. You value children so dearly
that none ever go hungry, none weep
with no one to tend them when mothers
work, none lack fresh fruit,
none chew lead or cought to death and your
orphanages are empty. Every noon the best
restaurants serve poor children steaks.
At this moment at nine o'clock a partera
is performing a table top abortion on an
unwed mother in Texas who can't get Medicaid
any longer. In five days she will die
of tetanus and her little daughter will cry
and be taken away. Next door a husband
and wife are sticking pins in the son
they did not want. They will explain
for hours how wicked he is,
how he wants disipline.
We are all born of woman, in the rose
of the womb we suckled our mother's blood
and every baby born has a right to love
like a seedling to the sun. Every baby born
unloved, unwanted, is a bill that will come
due in twenty years with interest, an anger
that must find a target, a pain that will
beget pain. A decade downstream a child
screams, a woman falls, a synagogue is torched,
a firing squad summoned, a button
is pushed and the world burns.
I will choose what enters me, what becomes,
flesh of my flesh. Without choice, no politics,
no ethics lives. I am not your cornfield,
not your uranium mine, not your calf
for fattening, not your cow for milking.
You may not use me as your factory.
Priests and legislators do not hold
shares in my womb or my mind.
This is my body. If I give it to you
I want it back. My life
is a non-negotiable demand.

Marge Piercy
mercifulserpent: (Default)
A lot has been said about how to prevent rape.
Women should learn self-defense. Women should lock themselves in their houses after dark. Women shouldn't have long hair and women shouldn't wear short skirts. Women shouldn't leave drinks unattended. Fuck, they shouldn't dare to get drunk at all.
Read more... )
Tell your sons, god-sons, nephews, grandsons, and sons of friends it's not okay to rape someone.

Don't tell your women friends how to be safe and avoid rape.
Don't imply that she could have avoided it if she'd only done/not done x.
Don't imply that it's in any way her fault.
Don't let silence imply agreement when someone tells you he "got some" with the drunk girl.
Don't perpetuate a culture that tells you that you have no control over or responsibility for your actions. You can help yourself.

If you agree, re-post it. It's that important.
--
from a bunch of other people. i'm not posting this because i agree with it... i'm posting it because i'd like more people's opinions on it then just my own. i mean, i KNOW what i think, which is that the list is troubling in its gendering of sexual assault, in the way it ascribes a rape culture to men, and in the way that it strips away agency from individuals. i agree with the idea; rape is never okay, and people shouldn't rape other people.

in terms of my own opinion... my kids will be enrolled in self defense classes as soon as they're old enough to take them safely, regardless of their gender identity. the world is a dangerous place, but it doesn't have to be a scary one, and i think that part of making that distinction is based on a sense of agency in terms of being aware of one's own safety, and one's own bodily rights.
mercifulserpent: (Default)
Rape victim: 'Morning after' pill denied
Although it is safe, effective and legal, emergency contraception - the "morning after" pill - can be hard to find in Tucson.

After a sexual assault one recent weekend, a young Tucson woman spent three frantic days trying to obtain the drug to prevent a pregnancy, knowing that each passing day lowered the chance the drug would work.

While calling dozens of Tucson pharmacies trying to fill a prescription for emergency contraception, she found that most did not stock the drug.
Read more... )

http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/health/99156.php
mercifulserpent: (Default)
'Female Chauvinist Pigs': Girls Gone Wild
By Jennifer Egan, New York Times
September 18, 2005

Reading "Female Chauvinist Pigs," Ariel Levy's lively polemic, gave me an epiphany of sorts. Finally, a coherent interpretation of an array of phenomena I'd puzzled over in recent years: the way Paris Hilton's leaked sex tapes seemed only to enhance her career; the horrifying popularity of vaginoplasty, a surgical procedure designed to make female genitalia more sightly; and a spate of mainstream books about stripping and other sex work, some reviewed in these pages. Levy has a theory that makes sense of all this. Our popular culture, she argues, has embraced a model of female sexuality that comes straight from pornography and strip clubs, in which the woman's job is to excite and titillate - to perform for men. According to Levy, women have bought into this by altering their bodies surgically and cosmetically, and - more insidiously - by confusing sexual power with power, so that embracing this caricaturish form of sexuality becomes, in their minds, a perverse kind of feminism.
Read more... )

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