Have you read Xinran's 'The Good Women of China'? Such an emotion provoking book. I had to numb my senses to keep flipping the pages as these women met with horror after horror. Very interesting non-fictional account of the plight of women, and the Chinese people in general during and shortly after the Cultural Revolution I read it a couple of weeks ago. Around the same time, I kept coming across women who had gone through some pretty terrible things in childhood and in life and felt prompted one night to write something about them. This is a poem about the things that women all over the world think, are afraid to think, or do not recognize as problems that they are facing.
I don’t want to be quiet.
When I cry, I don’t want you to cover my mouth anymore
I want our daughter to know me, and that I understand her
I want to be the only person you have, just like you’re the only person I have
I don’t want to be ashamed of being naked because of the way you look at me
I want to work; there are things I know how to do besides… besides
I don’t want to do all the chores alone
I want to wear make-up if I want to
I don’t want to have to wear make-up for you to be seen around me
I don’t want to be used.
I want to wait a little in between children
It takes some time to recover
I don’t want you to talk to me like I’m nothing
Especially in front of our daughter
I don’t want to be introduced to your friends as “hey, get us some drinks”
I want to talk to male friends without being accused
I don’t want to lie down
I don’t want to be threatened
To be taught a lesson I will never forget
To be dealt with later
To be have
I want to be loved
I want to feel like a woman
Because right now I feel like a lobster in a steaming pot,
screaming too loudly to be heard, and if you don’t turn the bloody heat down,
I will die, do you hear me?! You will lose us all!
You’re not listening.