“Born a Woman” (2017)

“Born a Woman” (2017)

October 16, 2017

Dear Women of America,

Kindly take note of the following guidelines to ensure strict adherence to our traditional, family values.

Abstinence is the only way for young ladies to stay pure for their future husbands which means you don’t need to know how reproduction works or how to prevent STDs. And birth control? Definitely not. It promotes “risky sexual behavior” which we’re no longer paying for. Indeed, your boss will now decide if their religious beliefs are more important than your health (they are).

Yes, ladies, that’s correct: no sex education, no birth control, and don’t even mention the word abortion. What if the fetus is a boy. We’re not risking losing him. Which is why abortion is now a no-go for most of you. We’re quite proud of ourselves for outsmarting the Supreme Court and shutting down clinics by passing laws to force them to close due to the new costs, restrictions, and a lack of doctors. Count yourself a murderer if you get one after 20 weeks.

In case we didn’t make ourselves clear. To avoid pregnancy, your only option is to avoid sex altogether. Why would you think that you deserve to have sex “without consequences” like the men? You can’t be trusted to make these types of lofty decisions. Only a man’s brain can comprehend these type of complex choices about a woman’s life. Silly girl, your body’s not yours.

Remember marital rape? Illegal nationwide, unfortunately, since 1993, unless you live in these states, where you lucky wives get to be the object of your husband’s desire whenever he may want it. We still can’t believe that in 1974 you were allowed to get a credit card by yourself. We’ve never trusted you with your money, ladies, and we still don’t. We know you’ll just spend it all on shoes.

Now that that’s settled, and you’re right where we want you: pregnant in the kitchen, cooking us dinner and then ironing our shirts, hope you’re not expecting to have an affordable birth (hope your husband makes a lot of money!) or survive long enough to hold your child in your arms. How’s that for pro-life?

However, if you do manage to live through labor, and not die of preventable causes, you better be ready to get back to work as soon as possible. We’re not going to pay for you to stay home to recover, or to get to know your baby in the first most important months of their life. No, mom, you’re doing it alone; your partner’s not going to get any paid time to help either. Everyone knows that men don’t want to have anything to do with domestic, girly stuff like babies or cleaning.

Please stay home and out of site when breastfeeding as well. We only want to see breasts as sexual objects, not be reminded about something so gross as feeding babies. Save us all the horror of seeing breasts used for their biological purpose, would you?

And speaking of breasts, remember women, keep those nipples covered in public. Just because we can buy magazines of topless women at 7 Eleven, doesn’t mean that you have a right to take off your shirt or bra, just because you feel like it.

In conclusion, my dears, do not let us hear one word of complaint out of your dainty lips about the aforementioned rules; it’s not our fault you were born a woman.

Sincerely,

The Patriarchy, U.S.A.

P.s. In case you forgot who’s in charge:

  • 80% of the United States House of Representatives is male.
  • 79% of the United States Senate is male.
  • 100% of United States Presidents and Vice Presidents have been male.

(Photo credit: Catherine Lampi)

 

“Words Kill” (2017)

Mixed media collage on canvas.

Words Kill

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” goes the saying that most of us have heard innumerable times, if not uttered ourselves. Yet, this, in its very core is fake news. Whether we (conveniently/naively) like to claim that words are empty and meaningless, the truth is just the opposite. Words translate into policies, laws, and, at the daily level, body language, facial expressions, and dialogue.

My inspiration for this piece is threefold: It starts with the rhetoric coming out of the current Trump administration, mixes with the rage and sadness I feel about how the most vulnerable among us are being treated by those in authority, and ends with the rise of the Nazis in Germany.

Indeed, genocides begin with words and end in murder.

The Jewish Holocaust began with three letters strung together: pig. Jews were first called “pigs” by the Nazi party and painted as being “the other”; somehow intrinsically different than the other German citizens. The words were then transformed into laws limiting Jews’ (as well as those of the Roma, “mentally unfit”, and homosexuals’) rights and freedom. They were stripped of their ability to own businesses, marry non-Jews, and even made to change their names to be more easily identifiable as Jews. Culminating in concentration camps and the decimation of entire Jewish populations, the Holocaust was permitted to happen and millions lost their lives.

Words can empower and enlighten, or they can create borders to divide and cage bars to ensnare. I wanted to use this piece as a reminder that our words have power, tangible power. Let us not be careless with our words, lest we harm another.