Feminism within a family


It’s the comment you make regarding the former first lady — a strong, educated black woman — being perceived as the woman “in power” within a relationship or the “one who wears the pants.”

It’s the pointed shake of your head in dismay as you exclaim that ever since going to college, I’ve become “one of those.”

Say it.

A feminist.

My fate as a domineering, pro-castrating force of a woman is sealed, in your eyes.

I am a force.

If theories are generalized explanations of how nature works, why are you so eager to defy that which is written in this book of humankind?

I am half, you are half. I will not apologize for speaking this natural truth.

It’s the way you think legality constitutes true freedom. Yes, I can vote. Yes, I can work. Yes, I can run for president.

But I am not free of the societal construction of this wall that allows me to do such things, but only under the watchful eye of my fathers and grandfathers who peer surreptitiously from behind and above, making sure I never get too close to the top.

There is a rope.

But to the men with white hair, red ties and powdered noses there always seems to be a defect in its function.

Without a working rope, the climb that those who try to ascend will never be seen as valid.

It’s the way you think you have more of a right to the ground you scuff your shoes on than those who cry so loudly their pitch is no longer realized.

It’s the way you think she was asking for it.

It’s the way you think verbal degradation holds no real value because they are just words.

It’s the way you cling to those very things called words when reciting your second.

If words mean nothing, strip away your name, strip away your sex.

Leave the bones, the flesh, the eyes, the blood. Only don’t give them a name.

When we’re both left in an odorous heap, who are you and who am I?

It’s the way you think an insult is calling someone an organic vessel in which human beings form and subsequently emerge from. A vessel that still goes on working even after multiple of these journeys.

It’s the way you came from one and still call her Mother.

It’s the way I never bothered you until I starting speaking these truths. It’s the way you led me to believe you felt I was as deserving as you when it came to anything in this world.

It’s the way you lied.

It’s the way that trust and integrity are two of the most important things to me in this life, and it’s the way you have neither.

It’s the way I can choose who I want in this brief flame of my life, and it’s the way I have the power to quench you before you have the chance to burn.

It’s the way you’ll try to start an even bigger fire and use the blaze as a means to destroy.

And it’s the way I’ll say —

“Go ahead, flip the lighter. A phoenix always rises from its ashes.”


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