Tag Archives: feminism

Men:

when was the last time you were told to cover up because you were showing too much skin?

do you worry about whether you’ll send the ‘wrong message’ to women if you wear something tight?

do you get verbally and sexually accosted by women when you walk around in public without a shirt?

 

what steps do you take on a daily basis to protect yourself against assault?

how many times have you given out a fake number because you felt it would be dangerous to turn a girl down?

when you’re at a bar, or a party, do you take your drink to the bathroom with you so you don’t get drugged?

will you decline an invitation to an event where you don’t know many other people unless you have another guy friend to go with you because you know safety is in numbers?

do you text the license plate of the girl you’re out with to your friends, just in case?

does your family warn you to be careful and safe before you go on a first date?

before you go anywhere?

 

what do you do when you walk alone at night?

do you hold your keys between your fingers like a makeshift set of brass knuckles?

have you bought mace? a rape whistle?

have 911 pre-dialed and phone in hand? 

does a friend know to expect your call to let them know you’ve made it to your destination safely?

do they know to call the police if they can’t reach you by a certain time? 

 

when you try to explain to your female friends your long history of negative experiences with the opposite sex, do they tell you “but not all women are like that”?

how often do you get called pet names by complete strangers?

do you avoid holding eye contact with women you don’t know?

how many times has a woman tried to make you feel like you owed them sex because they were nice to you?

how many times have you felt unsafe because of the sexual advances of a woman?

how many times did they refuse to take no for an answer?

how many times have you been *almost* raped?

 

are you concerned that if you choose to have a child that you might lose your current employment?

are you worried that your doctor would deny you a vasectomy if you wanted one because they thought you might regret your decision? 

are you afraid that you will be stripped of all your reproductive rights every time someone new gets elected?

do you feel like the government is trying to take control of your body?

do you feel like the government is trying to own your body?

 

when you see men depicted in shows and movies, is the source of their power almost always about how sexually attractive women find them? 

despite how strong a male character is in an action flick, does he almost always have to be saved by a woman in the end? 

how many times have you seen a man say ‘no’ to sex on TV? 

after being pressured did he give in? 

did he get assaulted if he kept saying ‘no’? 

 

do you feel like if you’re too attractive no one will take you seriously, but if you’re not attractive enough no one will pay attention to you at all?  in school?  at work?  online? 

did you and all your guy friends know which teacher would give you a better grade if you showed some skin and acted flirtatious?

do you feel like it’s easier to get what you want by acting nonthreatening and stupid than by standing up for yourself? 

when you’re emotional do you get accused of being hormonal?

when you take no shit do you get called bossy? 

when you want to be seen as sexy do you get called a slut?

when you choose to have sex with whoever you want do they call you the ‘town bicycle’, a whore, told that you have no shame, you must not value yourself if you go around giving it away for free, what woman’s gonna wanna marry your used up dick if you keep screwing around, don’t you have any self respect?

 

Do you feel

that after centuries of fighting for your basic rights as a man

that you’ve finally found equal footing with women in the world?

 

Do you? 

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Sometimes I grieve that I am a woman. 

 

When I watch two men being soft together:

their ferocity and bravery

their unfurling nakedness,

the sting comes into my eyes

as though I am remembering something I’ve lost;

 

I can taste its residual linger on my tongue

so I swipe it over my teeth

and across the roof of my mouth

to have its flavor

for just a moment longer

before it dissipates. 

 

I am a woman. 

Not just within the slope and weight of my birth-given body

but inside of my self-chosen interests,

fitting the mold

even as I slop over the sides of it. 

But there’s a voice, small, behind my heart

in the blackred caverns of my chest

that has a name that isn’t my own,

and beats its fists against the strange cushiony feeling of my flesh

and wishes to know itself

within firmness and fur

I do not possess. 

 

When I was 13 and my father had died

 – though do not try to blame this duality on loss –

I went through his closet,

lamenting that, even being so much smaller than him

his jeans wouldn’t fit over the width of my thighs

and the curve of my pubescent ass,

so I took his shirts

and scissors to my hair

and even with the early onset of breasts busting out

(no matter what I did to try and hold them back)

I was mistaken twice that year for a boy,

got called a dyke

despite my boyfriend. 

 

Perhaps they could smell it on me –

the other person lurking inside of my flesh,

seducing the beautiful gay boy

who loved me

but not my gender. 

 

You could try and say that maybe I was influenced

by the gossiping guesses of family

while I was in gestation –

all proclaiming that I Must be born a boy,

too many girls had already been born in the family,

It was time.

Perhaps in my mother’s womb,

through the sloshing

I heard them choosing names:

Forest, Hunter, Gabriel,

but it was too late.

 

I must have had a choice, at some point, to have taken it a step further,

to have rebelled even more loudly against the feminine,

but it comes in waves,

I put on heels and lipstick,

I paint my nails and devour fashion magazines,

gyrating in the club like a goddess on fire. 

 

I feel the power surge in my womb

and the aching weight of my breasts. 

I play the part of the seductress and the kitten.

 

And still,

in the dark,

when a man has had too much to drink

or thinks he can rest for a moment

inside of my safety

the predator emerges;

not some BDSM bitch with whips and leather bustier,

but flared nostrils and manhands

grabbing hold of his hipbones from behind

and scorched breath against his ears

whispering nothing,

telling him everything. 

 

 


I am not a feminist.

 

I grow weary of the gender card,

the throwing down of blame.

 

I am not oppressed.

I do not give my consent to be subjugated

or dominated by

men or women,

 

except when I desire it.

 

I balance my feminine with my masculine,

they are not at war, or even opposition, but rather flow

in and out of me

at my will.

 

I am not pious or righteous for being born female.
I am happy to objectify indiscriminately,

and really, whose business is it how we fantasize about one another,

isn’t flesh an object anyway

we molt and throw away, rinse down the drain.

I am not a feminist because I am not just female.

My identity is not static;

just like my eyes are not blue like it says on my license

but rather a teal-gray with a ring of gold;

it is the same oversimplification and omission to label myself as a woman

a quick once-over of my curves belying the variegations beneath the skin,

the deep rivers of my masculinity coursing,

curling into my core —

I am both the snake and the flower it hides inside of

 

I am not okay with shaming men for the evolution of our species.

I Love Men, their smell and their swag,

their denial of their own nakedness

and their slow realization that their dicks are not really swords,

but rather the externalization of fear,

vulnerability masquerading as a weapon

Women, in turn, sensitive to these scared men, have pretended to be softer,

downplaying the depth of their power.

 

If you don’t respect me because of what is between my legs,

then clearly you haven’t been between them

because I don’t have a vagina – I have a portal to the inside of your own soul.

 

I am not a feminist because in its structure, it implies alliance to inequality instead of seeking the

balance of gender

favors fighting against, instead of harmonizing with, the natural, subtle, magnetic rhythms

of other humans

and engaging in uninhibited,

trans-morphic,

body-less

connection.

 

When you are brave enough to abandon your box,

ready to deconstruct your exo-sexuality,

revise your dictionary and engorge your thesaurus,

trample traditions and dissect the dichotomy,

you will discover that gender is not so simple as m or f

not necessarily determined by your body

or congruous with your clothing

but is just a story told by a culture of separation and classification.

 

I am not a feminist.

My alliance isn’t even to the human race

but instead the thread of love that sews us all invisibly together

that knows no sex at all.