Poems on Gender

GENDER ESSENTIALISM 

There is no such thing as a real woman 
There is no such thing as a real man 
Not in biology 
Not in gender identity 
We don’t exist as definitions 
We exist as individuals 
And even that is an abstraction 
Where is it, exactly, that I end 
And the rest of the universe begins

The problem is… 
History makes definitions 
How does it do that? 
By making victims 

The definition of woman has been written in blood over thousands of years 
The definition of woman is a gaping wound in the heart of the human race 
The definition of woman is a fairy tale that began with the crack of a whip 
Because women are enslaved 
Men are enslaved 
Because women are enslaved 
Children are property 
Because women are enslaved 
Sexuality is in chains 
Deviation is a crime 
Gender is a cage 

How do you fight a definition? 
First, you take over the prison 
Then you burn down the walls 

I am woman 
Becomes a statement of power 
You have given me a name 
I will own it 
And turn it into a weapon 

I am woman 
Becomes a battle cry 
You have made us into an army 
When we march 
The earth will tremble 

I am woman 
Becomes a mighty fortress 
But in a fortress, you are safe behind prison walls 
Now is the time for fire 
Burn down the walls, march out, and free the world 

In the meantime 
Before breakfast 
Do the dishes from last night 

One day there will be no such thing as woman or man 
Only a rainbow 
But the definition of woman is still being written today 
The fortress still has walls, because they are still needed 
After centuries of war, maybe the gatekeepers are edgy 
But in a man’s world, mistakes can be deadly 
If you’re knocking on the door, knock gently 

For more on this topic, see also GENDER ESSAY – Chapter Four: Gender Identity

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