Anti-Feminist

31 Mar

The crowd disapproves
when I tell them
I am not a feminist anymore

I can feel their
removal of support
thickening in the air

I am for equality
I declare, because
I have been afforded the luxury

Afterwards, 5 or 6
friendly feminists come up,
they have come to set me straight

Feminists are for equality
they admonish, urging me
to feel comfortable again with their terms

I think of the inequalities
I have suffered at the hands
of their doctrine

I smile, and listen politely
They are entitled
to their opinion

But they sharpen
their knives
to silence my voice

Though, by their own precepts
my experience is equal
as valid as anyone else’s.

image

I think this poem is quite a propos for the last day of March. NaPoWriMo is tomorrow!

“If a poem holds only what we already understand and are comfortable with, we wouldn’t need the poem.” -Jane Hirschfield

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18 Responses to “Anti-Feminist”

  1. M April 10, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

    i’ll be glad when this election season is over and we can all get over being offended by our friend’s dissenting opinions… ~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) April 14, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

    Whenever there are doctrines there is also indoctrination… and then whatever ism is … please leave me out. Great with politics in poetry.

    Like

  3. Sanaa Rizvi April 14, 2016 at 5:14 pm #

    I m seriously impressed with this poem! Yowza 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  4. charliezero1.wordpress.com April 14, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

    Amen! People are way too sensitive nowadays.

    I wrote a poem about Feminism as well.

    here you go: trust me I think you’ll like it.

    https://charliezero1.wordpress.com/2016/04/11/the-bitter-feminist-inflates-the-ego-in-her-pride/

    Like

  5. Arcadia Maria April 14, 2016 at 7:59 pm #

    Great poem. Some people see things in black and white, when it’s never that simple.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ZQ April 14, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

    haha I always tell people i hate men cause they made me fight… and I hate women cause they made me dance… it’s equal… we are on our own. 🙂

    Like

  7. Victoria C. Slotto April 14, 2016 at 8:54 pm #

    Good for you. I agree. Equality doesn’t happen if it means squashing someone else. Most any kind of extremism generates the exact opposite response of what is desired, as I see it.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Pleasant Street April 14, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

    I’m not good with labels myself. I appreciate your unflinching opinions !

    Like

  9. thotpurge April 14, 2016 at 9:45 pm #

    Gender equality is in a very different place in different countries… have to keep fighting the good fight.

    Like

    • lupitatucker April 15, 2016 at 2:49 pm #

      It is, but one does not have to call themselves a “feminist” to achieve equality between the sexes.

      Like

  10. She April 14, 2016 at 9:48 pm #

    Man, I crazy-want that shirt! It looks so soft!

    This is a great poem; I especially like these sections:

    “I can feel their
    removal of support”

    “they admonish, urging me
    to feel comfortable again with their terms”

    “But they sharpen
    their knives
    to silence my voice”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Linda Kruschke April 15, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

    I can relate to this. Very well done.

    Like

  12. Grace April 15, 2016 at 7:12 pm #

    Hard to please everyone has everyone has their own opinion ~ Best sometimes to keep one’s viewpoint to oneself ~

    Like

  13. Maria Nazos January 2, 2017 at 2:45 pm #

    I cannot believe that you, as a woman of color, can write this poem and believe it. Respectfully speaking, you have a vast misunderstanding of feminism and what it entails. To say, both in your poem that you seek equality but eschew feminism is a logical fault. Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings, first off. Secondly, it is a form of discrimination in itself to blithely claim and seek out a humanity as being “equal,” because in order to do that, one must be blissfully myopic and oblivious to the inequality and suffering around her. We are not equal. Women still make millions of dollars less per year than men. When a woman is raped, 98% of those cases walk. People of color are being shot every day. There is constant gendered language used around us, from our future president to our patriarchal society. It is the ultimate form of prejudice to say that we are all equal. If you are going to write poetry and forge even a half-assed attempt at being taken seriously, beyond being praised by a gaggle of wealthy half-baked Chianti-swilling housewives who reify the patriarchy, who will tell you what you want to hear, then you seriously need to revise your paradigm. If you don’t, then keep doing what you’re doing. Reading poems like yours, particularly during the Trump administration, makes me think there IS enough poetry in this world.

    Like

    • lupitatucker January 2, 2017 at 4:21 pm #

      Maria, thanks for visiting my blog and for taking the time to read, and especially to comment.

      Your comments embody the very thing this poem speaks about: feminists trying to silence the voices of those who don’t agree with the terminology and the political stances of those who call themselves pro-woman. There are other opinions out there, but it sounds like you only care about your own. That’s sad. That stance is what I consider a huge part of the problem this country faces at this point in our history. When you don’t want to hear what others have to say, then you stifle the respectful conversations that we so badly need to have. No conversations = no real progress. I think it would have been more productive if you had asked me why I think this way instead of just attempting to put me in my place.

      Since you do not know me at all, I find it interesting the way you seem to believe that I have to think like you in order to be taken seriously. You are wrong. You know nothing of what I have experienced in life at the hands of the patriarchy, nor what I have suffered at the hands of those claiming to be for my rights as a woman. You simply have no idea! But, according to your comments, I’m supposed to stifle my voice and experience if I want to be taken seriously. Well, let it be known: My story and my voice are worth hearing. My words and experience are the stuff of beautiful, heart-wrenching, uplifting, though-provoking, and gorgeous poetry (not necessarily all at the same time! 🙂 ).

      By the same token, just because I don’t agree with your political stance doesn’t mean that I have a right to silence your poetic voice or invalidate your experiences because they don’t line up with my paradigms.

      I do understand the point that you are making in regards to the reality of the situation: we are not all equal. We need more equality. I am totally for that. What the poem actually says is that my experience is equally valid as anyone else’s. I don’t need anyone else to validate it. Not any man, and certainly not any woman.
      I spent a great portion of my years living in a third-world country, and I know and have had a good taste of the inequality you speak of- something the majority of the people in this country have no clue about. But, as I have grown and changed I have come to the realization that the feminists of today do not represent me as a woman, and I wrote a pretty good poem about it.

      With all respect to you, as a poet, may you continue to write from your heart with passion and truth!

      Like

      • Maria Nazos January 5, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

        Wow, you certainly seem to think a lot of your own work. The thing is, you do need validation as a poet, not as a human, if you want your work to be read. Isn’t that the point??? Isn’t that why you wrote a blog in the first place? Because you wanted comments at the very least. At the very most you may want a wider audience to read or appreciate your work because it engages multiple dimensions and facets of emotions that cannot be put into ordinary language. If that is not your mission, and you truly seek no literary validation, then keep on truckin’, sister. In order for something to be “uplifting,” and “gorgeous” beyond that of your own online platform, then you either need to have compassion for an opposing viewpoint or lack a sense of victimization or, quite simply, create a complicit sense of meanness. You also need to be able to connect to a wider audience. Read Tony Hoagland’s poem “Adam and Eve.” It is neither PC nor feminist, but it engages the more complicated human condition, not simply a convenient binary manifesto.

        We cannot have an equal society unless we address supremacy. It is a convenient dismissal to say that we need equality when we do not have it. And we do it. Moreover, I need to be honest here–when you say that your poems are “good,” you need to address critical emotions beyond craft. I am not silencing your voice. Clearly. I engaged you so that we’d have a dialogue. Expansive political views, the ability to engage others, and the ability to have empathy and social awareness are all integral to writing poetry. I saw the books that you bought from the Dodge Festival and was wondering if you read them: Claudia Rankine, ALL of those humans, they are all largely engaged, socially-aware activists. How can you read those poets and write poetry and not have any empathy or a multi-dimensional layering to your work?

        If you really want true feedback and reactions beyond your own self-celebration and those of a few anonymous readers, I can post with your permission, this poem to Facebook or my own blog so that you can see some of the reactions of other professionally-practicing poets. I am not saying that you need to magically become a feminist or something–but there is a certain responsibility that comes with writing, and railing against a group of marginalized people is not a poem. A poem is not a decanting of personality; it is obtaining spiritual insight. It is not a confrontation with an other, but an examination of the self. And if you ever wanted true feedback in numbers, I would be happy (ONLY with your permission) to show this poem to my poet friends and colleagues so that you could hear their reactions. They would be good ones, maybe they’d address something that I didn’t. But during this terrible political time, I am going to bet that none of us who have committed our lives to publishing and writing will celebrate an anti-feminist stance, NOT when we have a president who speaks frankly about sexual harassment. Not when quid-pro harassment exists in the army. Not when Title XI has been enstated in colleges. Now we need truth, and we may not need to agree on it, but it truly says something when the vast majority of practicing poets out there would feel that you’re work is smothering itself in a rich satin blanket of denial. And I am happy to respectfully prove it.

        Like

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