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Bearers of life; sexual tools. Beautiful creatures; trophy wives.
We adorn ourselves in patience and tolerance, taught to hide behind a pretty, unfeeling mask. Live to please; please to live.
We are double-edged blades, smooth, clean, but it is an illusion. Under all that polished chrome glory are serrated teeth. Teeth eroded dull by the pressures of culture.
We are a nation divided.
Here we are celebrated, encouraged like infants learning to walk. Cute, innocent, helpless unless guided.
Go on, they say, you can vote, you can work. We’ll humor you, you’re strong girls, you can do anything a man can do—you’ll just never do it better. You’re fool’s gold: appealing to the eye, useless in practicality.
There we are a downtrodden race, dragged through the muck of inferiority and the dirt of worthlessness.
Be a good wife, they say. Obey your husband. Act like you’re content, be chaste and never express how you truly feel, or else we’ll jail you for life, we’ll take your sons, we’ll stone you to death. You’re nothing to us.
There is no middle ground in a world where women are second-class citizens. No shades of gray exist in this black and white storyboard.
My voice is strong and I will shout until you are forced to hear me. I am a woman, a phenomenon of beauty, a cacophony of color in a place so plain.
Without me, would you grow your children in the cornfields? Lifeless, absent of the love a mother creates out of air, a work of effortless art?
Without me, would you lie alone in a stone bed, no wife to calm you with only her sheer presence by your side in the terrifying night?
Without me, would your brothers grow cold and hard, no sister left to soften their iron hearts? To teach them gentleness, tenderness?
Without me, would mankind ever be happy with this paper mâché world?
I paint the sky with my passion and sing the endless song of the abused.
No sir, I will not waste my life slaving in the kitchen, I will not scrub these magnificent hands raw washing clothes, I will not chafe my knees kissing the ground my husband walks upon, I will not drown this gorgeous individuality in cosmetics.
I will stand and never fall, I will refuse to crawl, and I will never bend to your unjust decrees.
I will set the world afire with the gifts I bear, weave a tapestry full of zeal and compassion, even the blind will see it draped over the land and seas.
The fight will never truly end but that is just fine: We women were born with war drums for hearts and flame for blood. So sharpen those serrated edges ladies, because equality, liberty, justice are all queer things in a universe dominated by fear of change. They will not surrender themselves easily.
But neither will we.