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Archive for ספטמבר, 2013

In my ventures through the London poetry scene, I went today to a poetry event titled Great Men. It is apparently part of a greater project fully named "Great Men Value Women". On the event page they described their aim as "a project to engage and involve men and boys in the gender equality movement." I find it to be a very unique thing in the feminist landscape, which doesn't often approach men in such a direct way, and certainly not in one which is attempting to be educating and enriching, not blaming and intimidating. For the first time in a long while, I have seen an endeavour that sees men as full partners in a feminist movement, and it was very refreshing. The project is only in its initial stages, and their first lectures are scheduled to November, but judging by the very committed men and women that I have met today, it will be something worth following.

Throughout the evening, poems were read, and songs were sang, by women and by men. Notable in my opinion was the concluding act by Grace Banks, and a poem read by a girl called Diana, whose surname slipped my mind, about what feminism is, and what it isn't, which was brilliantly sarcastic. By the stage stood a small table with notes and pens on it, and on the wall, there were sentences that the attendees were asked to complete. Amongst them was "Gender expectations make me…" I wrote this poem, in response to this sentence.

Gender Expectations Make Me

Gender expectations make me

Act weak,

vulnerable,

Helpless.

Gender expectations make me

Smile

Yes, smile, again,

Hold my head high,

Not too high.

Not high enough to look men in the eye,

Just high enough to look sexy.

Gender expectations make me,

Question myself,

Seek reassurances,

Ask for help,

But not ask for teaching,

Never doubt the fact I'm wise,

Yet always doubt the fact I'm pretty.

Gender expectations make me,

Paint my nails in deep red,

Whenever I'm having a bad self-confidence day,

Take off my glass for photos,

Make up my face for familial holidays,

Avoid judgement.

Gender expectations make me,

Scared,

To walk the streets at night,

And sometimes during daytime.

Be alert,

Always check who strides behind,

Gender expectations make me,

Know my fear is just,

Walk faster,

And faster,

Run home. Seeking shelter.

Gender expectations make me,

Angry.

For all the things that I have lost.

Or never have been offered.

For all those roads I never crossed,

And paths I couldn't wonder.

Gender expectations make me,

Furious,

For being told I was too smart for a girl,

For being told that roleplaying was for boys,

For not being taught judo or ju-jitzo, or karate, or aikido,

Or any other form of martial arts or self defense, or both.

Gender expectations make me,

Rage against conventions,

They make me scream,

They make me fight,

They make me rebel.

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