advice, domestic violence, feminism, feminist, gender, misogyny, rape, sexism, strenght, violence, women

“Fantastic Breasts and Where to Find Them”

 

Brenna Towhy speaks the truth…

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abortion, feminism, feminist, misogyny, poetry, pro-choice, pro-life, sexism, women

“What Women Deserve” Sonya Renee

Sonya Renee brilliantly slams the anti-choice/pro-life movement and the organisations and governments which defend and protect their scare tactics and which, yet, will not actually help these women once they have children. “Women Deserve Better” highlights the race and class issues surrounding abortion, pregnancy, and motherhood and, significantly,  how society uses these issues to control these women and keep them from actually improving their own lives before actually deciding to have children in their own time.

Renee, herself, is a feminist activist as well as a national and international poetry slam champion. She is also founder and CEO of The Body is Not an Apology which focuses on “radical self love and body empowerment” and invites individuals to join the “unapologetic posse” encouraging women to “dismantle their personal body shame by reminding themselves of their individual amazingness on a regular basis Help their friends and loved ones see how body shame is keeping them from living their best lives and encourage them to live unapologetic existences Share information, resources, and inspiration with each other as we all take the journey toward radical unapologetic self love!”

Her website states:

We believe that each time you unapologetically own your beauty, love your scars, heal your shame; you in turn give us permission to do the same! It is time to live UNAPOLGETICALLY!

Join their movement here: http://www.thebodyisnotanapology.com/#!

Her live performance is emotional, powerful, and full of the strength women are truly capable of.

 

Culturally-diversified biracial girl with

a small diamond nose ring and a pretty smile
poses besides the words
“Women Deserve Better”.

and I almost let her non-threatening grin
begin to infiltrate my psyche
until I read the unlikely small print
at the bottom of the ad:
Sponsored by the US Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities
and the Knights of Columbus

On a bus
in a city
with a population of 553,000,
4 teenage mothers on the bus with me,
1 Latina woman with 3 children under 3
and no signs of a daddy.

One sixteen year old black girl
standing in 22-degree weather
with only a sweater
a book bag
and a bassinette,
with an infant that ain’t even four weeks yet
tell me that Yes ….
Women do deserve better.

Women deserve better
than public transportation rhetoric
from the same people who
won’t give that teenage mother
a ride to the next transit.
Won’t let you talk to their kids about safer sex
Have never had to listen as the door SLAMS
behind the man who adamantly says,
“That shit” ain’t his
leaving her to wonder how she’ll raise this kid.

Women deserve better
than the 300 dollars TANF and AFC
will provide that family of three
or the 6 dollar an hour job at KFC
with no benefits for her new baby
or the college degree she may never see
because you can’t have infants at the university

Women deserve better
than lip service paid for by politicians
who have no alternatives to abortion
though I am sure
right this moment one of their seventeen year old daughters
is sitting in a clinic lobby
sobbing quietly and anonymously
praying parents don’t find out
or will be waiting for mom to pick her up because research shows
that out-of-wedlock childbirth doesn’t look good on political polls and
Daddy ain’t having that.

Women deserve better
than backwards governmental policies
that don’t want to pay
for welfare for kids
or health care for kids
or child care for kids
Don’t want to pay living wages to working mothers,
Don’t want to make men who only want to be last night’s lovers
responsible for the semen they lay.

Flat out don’t want to pay for SHIT
but want to control the woman who’s having it.
Acting outraged at abortion.
Well I’m outraged
that they want us to believe
that they believe
that women deserve better.

The Vatican won’t prosecute pedophile priests
But I decide I’m not ready for motherhood
and it’s condemnation for me
These are the same people who won’t support
national condom distribution to prevent teenage pregnancy.
But women deserve better.

Women deserve better
than back-alley surgeries
that leave our wombs barren and empty.
Deserve better
than organizations bearing the name
of land-stealing racist rapists
funding million dollar campaigns on subway trains
with no money to give these women
while balding middle-aged white men
tell us what to do with our bodies
while they wage wars and kill other people’s babies

So maybe women deserve better
than propaganda and lies
to get into office
Propaganda and lies
to get into panties
to get out of court
to get out of paying child support

Get the hell out of our decisions
and give us back our voice
Women do deserve better
Women deserve choice

advice, feminism, feminist, misogyny, philosophy, poetry, sexism, women

“Pretty” Katie Makkai

Makkai’s live poetry performance “Pretty” is an incredible rendition of the insecurities and pressures which women face regarding their appearances and image. Popular media and current culture sustains these insecurities and pressures with a constant swell of unnatural advertisements and photoshopped models which Makkai performance decries; it is these precise images which encourage women to concern again and again over that timeless, superficial question “will I be pretty?”

When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother “What will I be? Will I be pretty? ” Will I be pretty? Will I be pretty?

What comes next? Oh right, will I be rich which is almost pretty depending on where you shop. And the pretty question infects from conception passing blood and breath into cells. The word hangs from our mothers’ hearts in a shrill of fluorescent floodlight of worry.

“Will I be wanted? Worthy? Pretty? But puberty left me this funhouse mirror dry add: teeth set at science fiction angles, crooked nose, face donkey-long, and pox-marked where the hormones went finger-painting.

My poor mother: “How could this happen? You’ll have porcelain skin as soon as we can see a dermatologist.” “You sucked your thumb. That’s why your teeth look like that! ” “You were hit in the face with a Frisbee when you were six, otherwise your nose would have been fine! ”

Don’t worry; we will get it all fixed she would say, grasping my face, twisting it this way and that as if it were a cabbage she might buy. But, this is not about her. Not her fault, she, too, was raised to believe the greatest asset she could bestow upon her awkward little girl was a marketable appearance.

By sixteen I was pickled by ointments, medications, peroxides. Teeth corralled into steel prongs, laying in a hospital bed. Face packed with gauze, cushioning the brand new nose the surgeon had carved.

Belly gorged on two pints of my own blood I had swallowed under anesthesia, and every convulsive twist, like my body screaming at me from the inside out “What did you let them do to you? ” All the while, this never ending chorus groaning on and on like the IV needle dripping liquid beauty into my blood.

“Will I be pretty? ” Will I be pretty like my mother, unwrapping the gift wrap to reveal the bouquet of daughter her $10,000 bought her? Pretty? Pretty.

And now I have not seen my own face in ten years. I have not seen my own face in ten years, but this is not about me! This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in. About women who will prowl thirty stores in six malls to find the right cocktail dress, but haven’t a clue where to find fulfillment or how to wear joy, wandering through life shackled to a shopping bag, beneath those two pretty syllables.

This, this is about my own some-day daughter. When you approach me, already stung-stayed with insecurity, begging, “Mom, will I be pretty? Will I be pretty? , ” I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer no.

The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be, and no child of mine will be contained in five letters. You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing, but you will never be merely “pretty.”

– Katie Makkai