On Feminism

 

He looks at me for the first time in years

And tells me I’ve changed

And I can’t help looking at him

Completely enraged

But I convince myself that it is not his fault

I must have done something to provoke

The appall

The disgust

And though I know that it is my turn to apologize

I stand there in silence

For the first time in years

I stood there in silence

Allowing the thunderous noise of

Nothing being said

Question my intention

Of calling him brother

Defiance

I am in so much trouble now.

I can see the cracks between his skin

Where his beard masks the frown

Of doubt and denial

But he doesn’t tell anyone

He doesn’t ask God to restrain the trials that he must now go through

Knowing that his little sister is not like what she once was

She is sixteen now

And fierce

Outspoken

Frank

Not gentle

Ruthless in her ways

And yet silent when she truly speaks

He tells me he misses me

I tell him that

That makes two of us

He begs for the stories that have radicalized my behavior

But I tell him that I have lost my trust

Not in the way that most poets

Tend to romanticize so that they appear profound

This is what is truly raw and reeling

You won’t understand the feeling

When the sanctuary of your mind is ripped apart

Like a rape victim

And everything you are

And everything hidden away in your heart is taken away from you

Yet you are expected to rise from the ashes

And be strong and courageous

Because the men in your life have taught you how

Your femininity is never glorified only hidden

Never respected only acknowledged

He tells me that he believes in feminism

And I ask him what kind

Because the only sense of feminism in this society

Is the acceptance you get when you are badass

Or Emma Watson

It’s the approval you receive when you are able to compartmentalize

And not bring your emotions to work

The only feminism I see is rights given to women for the sake of equality, and not of justice

He tells me that I am wrong

That the game is changing

But how on earth can the game change when the rules of the game

Are set by those who define the word oppression.

I anticipate his disappointment

A practice I know all too well

A practice of which I have mastered

When people ask me if my older brothers were rugger players

And eventually I have to let them know that I paint

Write poetry and can’t even punch people in the face for dishonesty

Haven’t they taught you anything?

I should be ashamed of myself for not being able to

Control the gut wrenching things that I feel

Cause apparently a male spoken word poet has so much depth

While the rest of us just talk about our feelings

Feelings that we should be ashamed of

Feelings that we should put away

So that we can become so much more

Self-aware and apologize for all our naturally provoked disparities

He asks me to be gentle

And I tell him that I don’t know how

Cause for the years he wasn’t here

They’ve awarded me for insensitivity

And I’ve just grown numb

You see

I was given two options

To be way too pretty to understand things or

To understand things the way someone else did

And not how I perceived it

And now I am an artist in deceiving

For even though I feel things

The way I feel them

They remain dead inside

Until my brother see them.

 

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