someone might think you’re a bitch
Sometimes my mouth has to chase my voice out the gate and
it’s usually too late but, hey, at least I speak up for myself these days
At least I speak at all
I’ll take it and so will you, or
you’ll call me a Bitch again and walk away
It isn’t as bad as it sounds, but this voice lives in a female body and that female body lives in a society that gives the power and privilege to white men. Privilege is something that is invisible to everyone who has it until the underprivileged (read:oppressed) take the burden upon themselves to educate and enlighten the White Man who, hopefully, is kind and empathetic and will be willing to open comfortably shut eyes and see something that is very ugly: oppression.
Usually, though, they call you a Bitch.
Or they make comments about how ‘angry’ you are,
or how you dress slutty,
but don’t wash your hair often enough,
how slutty you are
but you never slept with me? 🙁
how you should probably wear a bra
or shave your armpits,
or they look really confused, ask
are you saying you want to start a chick band?
after you point out that they shut you down
every time you try to contribute to the song
and there goes your voice
right out the gate, mouth closing behind it
but far too late
there fall your tears
each of them carrying a year of frustration on their watery shoulders
and no one hears the voice behind the tears
tears are for weak people and girls
and if you wanna play with the boys
then act like one
maybe I could, I think, if only-
if the world could act like I was a boy
I could make money
a dollar of a dollar!
I could walk down the street without being yelled at, and
no one would tell me to smile
people, all people, not just magical feminist people
would listen to my ideas
hear my point of view
think my art was legitimate, and
not a totally separate genre because of the estrogen-tinged vocal chords
I bring to the stage
I could be a second tenor, beautiful and free
there’d be so much less ruhypnol in my beer
more conversation, less unsolicited touching
I’d be lauded for my promiscuity, not shamed
no one saying ‘you’d be so pretty if..’
my anger righteous, natural even
my voice heard, my mouth no longer
trying to chase it out the gate, stop it by the shoulder, saying
‘keep your thoughts to yourself, ma–
someone might think you’re a bitch.’
no longer no longer
if I were a boy,
I’d like to take a moment to remind you (all of you) that you have a right to speak, to open a dialogue about anything that makes you uncomfortable or scared or pissed off. You are allowed to scream. You are allowed to cry. You are not allowed to give up. You are allowed to take a nap for awhile and then get back to it, though.
Sexism hurts everybody. Ignorance of this hurts more. Stop hurting yourself. Stop hurting your friends. Speak. Listen. In any order or all at once.
other news: I have a few shows coming up that I am really fucking excited about.
May 24th @ Circle A Cafe solo sets with Gren Ville (Susan Howe) ‘in the round’ as DITCHLILLIES
June 4th @ The Jazz Estate (full! band!) with New Boyz Club and Jordin Baas
June 11-14th @ Steel Bridge Songfest
shit, I need to rehearse.