“Perhaps Women were once so dangerous that they HAD to have their feet bound.” Maxine Kingston
I posted this to my blog two years ago, but, because I have had nothing on my mind for the last two weeks other than the nightmare of our new president-elect, I feel like I need to reshare this.
I was listening to Andra Day and in particular, this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwgr_IMeEgA
And it reminded me of the poem that I wrote years ago. And for a moment, it greatly depressed me, that, once more, we must rise up. Once more, we are facing a regime run by someone who has proven he has no respect for women, for other races, other religions, for the differently-abled.
Thinking about his remarks about Megan Kelly and the “blood coming out of her …whatever” I remembered how we were sent away to bleed, about this poem, and about how this message has been vital for a hundred years and will be for a hundred more.
I do not speak any truth here but my own. This is my story. I want to hear yours.
I was sexually abused when I was 9 years old. And later, many years later when I thought I had closed the door on that ultimate vulnerability, I was abused, raped and assaulted on a daily basis by someone who swore to love me.
To be perfectly honest, the new president elect reminds me a great deal of him. The posturing, the smug smile, the fact that they have both bragged about sexual assault. The fact that his face is now plastered on social media, on magazines, and will be on a plaque inside this country’s highest office has literally brought me to my knees in grief and fear and dread.
But, I am reminded, in the company of amazing people, people who have been fighting the fight, or have only just begun to do so, that the power for change is right there within us all. And as hard as it may be, we must keep rising up, doing it over and over, a thousand times.
I wrote this poem years ago, yet its message to me is so freaking relevant right now.
For all the Mad Women in the Attics of society, of their own minds, of the short sightedness of other’s minds…..Rise Up.
An original poem, by Kathryn Cody
They never thought we’d walk again,
never dreamed that under their oppressive gauze
we would wriggle our mangled toes
Rising up, we left our attics and our asylums–
a lurching monster, dragging toes and breasts,
limping and scraped from the Fall.
On our backs we carried our whalebone crosses.
They tried to stop us.
They sent us away to bleed,
sent us away to birth,
afraid of the rich vulva and all her secrets.
But somewhere in a whorehouse,
after the last fucking,
dormant Eve awoke
and went in search of fruit.