Man Up

Man Up

I have worked with women

who love their men

even

as his hands grip her throat

and he gloats,

whilst watching her choke,

over how she takes him back

by the time he counts to ten.

I have seen the courage of women

who leave their men

alone

with pregnant belly and two children

in a land of words foreign,

she prays I answer my phone

and find her a safe home

where he’ll never touch them again.

I have felt the pain of women

caused by a system

that didn’t lock up their men;

he only raped her yesterday

and she tells me she’s okay

but the tears spilling down her cheeks

give her fear away

as a lack of evidence gave him his freedom.

Here I stand as a woman

standing with women

who are stood on by men.

All convinced that they knew them,

so now don’t all go thinking

that it could never happen

or you’d never let yourself

be in that situation

because we’re all in motion

on a spectrum

of tolerance and bystander inaction,

and to think

that those who get bruised

are any different

than you is fiction.

Being a victim

is not an addiction,

but a symptom

of the macho masculinity affliction

that sees violence

as an ever acceptable reaction,

or that too much testosterone

is the real problem

whilst breeding the notion

that this is the natural order of things

instead of asking the questions,

why do some men hurt women?

and why is violence such a deeply gendered phenomenon?

and why are these instead not defined

as gender crimes?

Worded as ‘women’s issues’ and ‘violence against women’

whilst men’s part in the process

is the invisible omission,

like there could be another explanation

to gender relations

and we just aren’t keeping up with the times.

So here I stand as a woman

standing with women

who are stood on by men,

and if you think

that you’re a good one of them,

then what are you doing

to be part of the solution?

Herland

Herland

Once upon a time

in a faraway land

there lived a group of females

who, together, would stand

in collective strength and solidarity

no sister an enemy

no need for competition or jealousy

for there existed no man.

They all dressed for comfort

hats without silly feathers

for their appearance was their own

not to please any others.

Owned by none, kept their names

treated all creatures the same

leaving all animals unchained

one with all Nature, as Mothers.

Through the guidance

of the elders

all cared

for their younger

no role in the home

as a female full grown

had a life of her own

and she was slave to no master.

Known for their brains

and not for their bodies

neither waited upon

nor offers to carry

the gifts bought to impress

to maintain ultra-femaleness

in return for sex under duress

or an expectation to marry.

Life was more simple

when the only duty they had

was to love themselves most

and each other as much as they can

and at close of day

to God they would pray

in trust and good faith

as their God was a Woman.

Trigger TV

Trigger TV

When even broken bones

burns

bite marks

internal injury

Her story

Her reality

is not considered worthy

neither for a charge

nor being found guilty,

when even without

Her words should be

Enough.

Maybe

if being an amputee

wasn’t internal

then you could see

as clearly

She wasn’t privy

to the memo

from the CPS and jury

about what constitutes believable,

since giving a reliable account

takes a PHD,

and to what degree

She just takes up your precious time

being angry.

Tell me,

is it as much

as he took Her body?

Goggle Jogging

Goggle Jogging

As your eyes

run down my body

and stop

at the top

of my thighs

it would be nice

if I could go ten minutes

without being objectified

as I’m trying to exercise;

I’m not interested

in catching fucking flies

so go take

your dick brain

someplace else for your fun,

my body

is no one’s matter for pleasure

unless it’s me

that’s the one

turned on.

Believe It Or Knot

Believe It Or Knot

The first knot

I came across

was that of a bow,

checkered ribbons on show

exchanging laces for Velcro

and point shoes on tip toe

as every growing girl should know

that shoes can make your feet bleed

as long as you look pretty.

At 15 I learned the hangman’s noose

wasn’t just a game

when the lack of mental health support for young people

showed me how it’s played,

I’m still not sure who won

when for months I couldn’t sleep

without the light on

as depression became a lesson

for our school of life curriculum.

As a young woman

I was tied to the highwayman,

made so insecure

by our bodies viewed

for trivial use

then our brains dumped at the back door

for refusing to copy the women in porn

as society manufactures more

unrealistic expectations for our pubes.

What the media forgot to tell my younger self

was I’m allowed to feel good naked

so here’s where I heard

of the barrel sling

and how BDSM, like all sex, is a consensual thing,

and that he may be good at flirting

but no amount of fucking

will make up for the orgasms you are missing

because you think you have to fake it.

I think the one known as common whipping

describes all the ways

we’re taught to tie ourselves in knots

for fear of getting frayed

so we don’t take the road less travelled

because we’re so afraid

of all our flaws being on display,

we forget that being unravelled

is to give ourselves away.

For there exists a social structure

which tries to doubly constrict your voice

by telling you how you should be

then criticising you like there was a choice

and amidst all the white noise

that says you’re already free,

remember even falconers

keep the most powerful birds of prey

tethered to their perches

caged to a piece of tree.

So check yourselves for knots

and run fast towards the sea.

Leading Lady

Leading Lady

This is your gentle,

daily reminder

that yours is never

the lesser life.

Do you hear me?

You are not a supporting actress

to an existence

you no more deserve to hold;

your role is the Heroine’s journey

and the path ahead

is adorned with gold.