Did you know March is Women’s History Month?
Monday, March 8th was International Women’s Day. I wrote this poem after listening to a talk given by Eve Ensler, the writer of the Vagina Monologues (which I just saw for the first time last month!), on TED and performed it at a local International Women’s Day event here in the city.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!
but no one screams louder than me.
I was born into a country where it is forbidden
for ice cream to meet the lips of women.
And those whom ice cream is caught melting on their tongues,
will be whipped with belts and icy screams will escape their lungs.
We are women who live in oppression.
Our exact offense still has us guessing
We come from different places but have the same questions:
Why poke us with bayonets?
Why burn us with cigarettes?
Why shave our heads to shame us?
Why violate then blame us?
You hurt us deeper than we knew depth could extend.
And to think we could have called you brothers, friends.
You and I are connected but you act like you don’t know me,
Like you weren’t delivered into this world headfirst and whole by me.
Like you didn’t grow off of the food that I chewed up and swallede in order to maintain you umbilically
Maybe you wish to be born again so you try to shove yourself back into me.
but instead of me giving you new life, you try to take life from me.
Why cut us up?
Why steal us away?
Why beat us with your fists everyday?
Who have ou become?
You used to me a man, used to be human.
You used to feel, used to see me.
I look at you and almost can’t tell which one of us has the vacancy
but I quickly realize it’s you that’s left because pain still knows me,
still treads up and down my back like a wanderer lost in a deep valley.
But I, we women
know another way that is gentile and resiliant,
nurturing, thus brilliant
A way that doesn’t require us to beat you into dust.
and make you feel like you dont’ matter
because that’s not the case men- you matter to us.
So why tell us that we’re stupid?
Why tell us we’re fat,
spit on us and let your freinds have their way?
I scream, you scream we all can have the sweet dream
of experiencing vanilla pleasure on a hot summer’s day
yes, my pleasure is a powerful thing but there is enough for it to go both ways
why are you afraid?
Why kick us with your boots?
curse us with a snarl
Throw acid in our face when we refuse your embrace?
What kind of war are you fighting that you dehumanize, desensitize, debase, discount, deconstruct, destruct
yourself in order to do this to me?
Suicide, homicide. The difference? the part of you that dies
first. You hunger and thirst for a power that will eat you alive
We fight and die for our children becuase like skin cells, we multiply
and restore life from the inside.
When you kill us, a part of you dies.
So what we need to see is that by having something sweet
we will be no more troublesome than we need be.
there is enough for you and me.
my full blown womanhood will not make you less of a man.
so put down your weapons and give me your hand.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.