Monday, May 31, 2010

a fair trade

and indeed there will be time, he says,
for a hundred decisions and indecisions.
decisions and positions; incisions,
precisions, inflictions,
parades of opinions.
leers and jeers from the powers that be
to turn my "beauty" back around on me.
turning my capabilities into my oppression,
and insecurities in my obsession.
fight or flight; unfathomable plight.
i wonder what it's like to fear that the people
i dominate might actually be better and not inferior.
women are the victims, but we've never played that part.
we've been blamed for our own rape and brushed
off heartache and hate.
we've been trained to think we're weak,
to take what we can get because we just
might be too powerful if we accept anything but defeat.
when nora slammed the door we shut out
domesticity and in return gained our own image
as a commodity. i traded my corset for an eating disorder,
my heart for brains, and we started living our lives in fear.
carrying my most vital organ out in the open air, every
day my self esteem is targeted because my
looks is thing upon which is most important for others to care.*
i am decided upon before i speak,
and that is why i have been silenced,
and that is why i have been weak.
and that is why these things take so much time.
and time running out for beauty will fade,
living in fear of old age.
a hundred decisions and indecisions,
and the words of my beloved poet
stare back at me,
all my indecisions crippling me.
all this time i've wasted, and tasted
only barely the sweetness of coming out on top.
in a cage of double - triple - quadruple standards,
i'm simply told to "try harder."
in a society with a giant wage gap no wonder
women feel worth less.
but i am going to continue functioning as a breathing,
digesting, blood pumping human whether i'm here or there,
whether i'm rich or poor,
whether its fair or unfair,
and whether i like it or not.
and whether or not a standard of beauty is placed upon
me by others or myself.
and no one can help me because you can't get self-confidence
from someone else.
you can't get pretty from a bottle.
you're not even guaranteed happiness from a partner.
you don't become more of a lady by wearing perfume,
and you don't become more of a man by wearing boxers.
try harder but stop trying too hard.
happiness might come when i've learned to
stop worrying and stop controlling unnecessary things
in my life and perhaps
when i can open my arms to the sky and say,
"yes, i can feel you, i hold half of you up!"

*from naomi wolf's the beauty myth


Carrie said...

Oh my gosh, this is good. It made me cry. This topic makes me cry and the way you write about it is so beautiful and vulnerable that it adds to the tears.

Is the whole first section from that book?

jamie said...

no just the one line about self esteem. i borrowed her language of it being the most vital organ..hate to cite her.

but thank you, dear.
passion makes something i guess.