New Poem About Women’s Bodies

For those of you who have taken a cursory look around this blog you will have noticed we at Stirred are feminists. And being feminists we notice the inequalities in the world one thing I am constantly aware of (as are my fellow feminists) is the harrassment I and many other receive simply for being female in the world, our bodies are constantly being commented on negatively or positively in ways we do not invite (more discussion on that here: https://stirredpoetry.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/new-record-harrassed-twice-by-men-on-the-way-home/ and here: http://www.manchestersalon.org.uk/feminists-and-slutwalk-can-reclaiming-words-empower-women-july-2011.html) the other thing is the corrosive messages by media and other people of what our bodies should look like. I had been toying with this poem idea fro a while but the other day the great blogger Red Newsom wrote about her experiences with her body hair here: http://rednewsom.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/long-hair-dont-care/ which sparked off a debate about street harassment and body image. The comments from some men were ”just ignore it”. Oh if only it were so simple. Women (men are starting to be more affected but it is still women who are targeted more) are constantly told by the media by people on the street by male and female friends and acquaintances how their bodies should be, what they should be doing to their bodies in terms of their body hair, and general appearance (I have been told by various people I ”should” fake tan for example) it is pervasive, it is everywhere, it does not make you a stupid woman to feel impacted by it and while it is not the only feminist issue I get all fired up about, it affects woman’s lives and eats into our mental energy and time and self esteem. Anyway here is the poem, it is a first and I am always worried political poems lose their poetic qualities because they have a message to deliver first of all, comments and advice welcome as with any first draft.

 

The Woman Who Was All Used Up

 

‘’ignore it, ignore him’’

by it they mean street harassment by them

the media, no easy task.

first pluck out your eyes

no longer see lascivious stares or sneers

men pantomiming your breasts

on their own flat chests:

your fault for having a comical body,

for being other.

Your eyelashes were likely to be too pale and short

and their colour not the startling uniformity of contacts

Van Gogh both your ears, no longer hear men clamouring

for your attention, trying to get you into cars,

no longer hear ‘’bitch’’ when you don’t respond

no longer hear the latest ad for ridding yourself

of those unsightly underarm wrinkles.

take off your breasts, that outward provision of femaleness

they were always too on show or too covered up,

too little too much, not enough in common with silicone

Lock your cunt up in a box, nothing left to grope

or aim for between the legs.

Then unscrew your legs at the hip joints

those shapely ankles, those thighs

always too much in the thigh, the wrong texture

all that hair, those visible veins

the beastliness of a functioning body

pumping away, growing hair, oxidising, shedding skin cells

modern beauty is stasis.

Still feel strange men breathing down your neck on the bus

flay yourself

remove all that lovely adipose tissue, curved muscle

dismantle the skeleton, those sexy bones beloved of billboards

and leave:

those ugly pumping veins and the unnoticed brain.

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About

The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.

Posted in Uncategorized
3 comments on “New Poem About Women’s Bodies
  1. belljargirl says:

    I love it!!!!!!!!!!!

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The Stirred team at Reclaim the Night Manchester 2015
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