Monday, August 13, 2012

Because I am a Woman

I am not supposed to love the smell
of orange cleaner on my floors
if I mopped them myself.
It is beneath me,
because I am a woman,
and domesticity enslaves me.
If my husband mops the floors,
or a legal alien in an apron mops my floors,
and I pay her/it/him for it,
I am allowed to enjoy it.

If I plan a meal and buy the food,
and prepare it,
and set it on the table
the ideal thing to do,
if I am a real woman,
is to resent the effort spent.
Because I am a woman,
and feeding people is beneath me.

I am not supposed to like sitting down to nurse a baby,
because the breasts that baby needs
and the womb it came out of
are the symbols of my servitude,
of my lesser pay.
Because I am a woman,
and nursing a baby is beneath me.
Paying someone to give it a bottle empowers me.
If the baby needs me,
it makes me smaller
than if no one needs me,
because I do a job that any man could do.

I was not supposed to like it
when a man wanted to make a home for me,
and asked me if he could keep me forever,
and buy me dresses,
and would I raise his children for him?
He wouldn't have asked if I was a man,
and that should anger me.
I should only like it if he offers to use me and throw me away,
because I am a woman,
and marriage fetters me.

I am not supposed to walk around barefoot,
because bare feet show my poverty.
I am supposed to wear high-heeled shoes,
so he can't sit down and take my feet in his hands
and rub the soreness out of them,
because I am a woman,
and my happiness is dependent on shoes and a power suit
and money.

I ought to feel guilty
when a butterfly in my stomach takes flight
as I pin clothes on a line
and a breeze blows on them.
Bad woman.

I should be embarrassed that I planned to cook for them,
instead of getting a job
and using my paycheck to buy them some frozen chemicals.
Or telling them to get a job and buy their own chemicals.
It's medieval for me to do it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Every Shaking Knee

How great is the goodness 
You have stored up for those who fear You.
You lavish it on those who come to You for protection,
blessing them before the watching world.
You hide them in the shelter of Your presence, 
safe from those who conspire against them. 
You shelter them in Your presence, 
far from accusing tongues. 
Praise the LORD, 
for He has shown me the wonders of His unfailing love. 
He kept me safe when my city was under attack.  
In panic I cried out, "I am cut off from the LORD!" 
But You heard my cry for mercy 
and answered my call for help. 
Love the LORD, all you godly ones! 
For the LORD protects those who are loyal to Him, 
but He harshly punishes the arrogant. 
So be strong and courageous, 
all you who put your hope in the LORD!  
~Psalm 31:19-24

I love the Psalms. 
They seem written for every kind of panic.
Every kind of fear the righteous face.
Every shaking knee and constricted breath.
And this is the one my eyes fell on this morning.