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Friday, August 19, 2016

Adulthood 1 : Dearth

New series. If you are failing at adult-ing, and overall being a through-and-through stinky poo, might as well get something deep out of it. Meh.

===============================================
Dearth

Unwashed woman:
Did you ever check how foul
You smell
Or how tired you look?
Women are wary of you
And tired, sweaty men,
(Perfectly good men, attracted to you!)
Are disgusted when they come close.
Woman, you are unclean;
You come back every night
Smelling of a different man
And the occasional nightly drink.
You look stale, spent, used -- and you are.
Stale, spent, used, that is.
Need you have given yourself
To every man (and woman!)
Who had asked for you,
Who had asked of you,
Who had just, just asked?

Need you have told the boy
That he could come again,
Need you have told the man
That he could call again,
Need you have told the two women
That your doors were always open?
Need you, woman, come to your bed
Smelling of tears that you do not own,
Reeking of sweat from others' troubles
Slathered in laughter you extracted
Out of the mouths of adolescents?
Need you, sister, mother, lover, wife?

Be, above all,
Woman, woman.
Take a bath, brush your teeth, comb your hair;
Or next time, he won't look.
Next time, she won't come.
Next time, he won't call, she won't hug,
He will find another lap and shoulder,
You will not save any more men,
You will not help any more men,
You will not make any more women feel loved
Or any more children feel
Like a man or a woman;
Next time
They will find someone who loves themselves
Better.
(Yes, again,
Again they come to you, but
Surely not next time?)

Woman, how can you do it?
Unwashed, unclean, and uncaring
Your hair in knots (they might as well be short!),
Your feet un-groomed (they could be so pretty!),
Your body reeking (fetishized, but still!),
Your brain sleep-deprived (you know what they think?) --
How can you bear
The burden of pains
Entirely not your own
Night
After night after night (like some common woman)
And still be woman (even human maybe)!

Suppose then, stubborn woman, 
That you can and you do;
That your body odour somehow has something to do
With saved lives, healed hearts, and such --
But still, woman
Must you reek of those whose pains
Are not the ones I tell you of?
Must I feel them run through you?
Should you not hide them away?
And while we are at it, woman,
Must you always, each and every night,
Smell of that stale caffeine?
===============================================

Unrealistic expectations of emotional labour from female and feminine-presenting people; notions of symbolic purity; marginalisation of the 'unclean' woman. Go.

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