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.

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