talking about freedom and feminism can have such immediate and palpable benefits on a micro scale
You don’t know how it feels
to walk down a dark street at night
So weave straight
into the light
out of need.
You don’t know what its like
To be riding along on a bike
and suddenly feel someone
to rage comes on hot and fast
like a cortisol furnace on blast
and you wish you could turn back and fight
but you weave on towards brighter light.
You might know what I mean
when someone says something obscene
and instead of being mean
you smile a little
Society makes it a must
to act on faith and trust
that love engenders lust.
and lust had gender
upon it like a yoke
but that old system broke
it made Wild Women choke
and now the new is here.
we still weave into streetlights
when walking out alone,
holding on to sharp keys
9-1-1- on our phone.
This poem was submitted by one of the high schoolers in our Freedom Youth Project. She wrote it in response to a prompt. The prompt was “why we need feminism when going to a movie alone.” Pretty open-ended prompt, and we were blown away by the amazing responses we got.
Another young woman did a dance piece. It was remarkable. It was a multimedia experience based on her feelings as she watched a film in which a woman her age dated. She projected the subtitles on the wall as if it were a silent film, with titles such as: “When the Girl on the date Pretends she is Having fun.” First, she played happy, romantic, date-type music and sat in a chair smiling (but with obvious dis-ease to anyone who is conscious).
Imagine if a young woman on a date were able to embody all of those complicated feelings.
This alone was enough to make the audience release [and i MEAN release, because it was truly cathartic] peals of laughter. Why? Because we have all seen so many of these scenes in movies, but most of us usually just accept it as “how things are.”
Next, the music changed. It was dark and stormy. The projection changed. It said “When the girl On the Date is unable to articulate her feelings Because she Hasn’t been taught the Tools and wants to People please in the Moment even though he knows deep Down that she is Bound to Disappoint [because her HEaRts not in it].”
Then, she started moving in ferocious bursts. It was moving to see her body, obviously untrained in dance but athletic and expressive, showing the feelings of rage, confusion, desire and sadness. Imagine! Imagine if a young woman on a date were able to embody all of those complicated feelings. It might unlock the potential for a deep experience for both partners on the date.
Then the music went back to the happy restaurant music. At first, it was jarring to see her angry movements to such a mellow song. And then a red alarm bell was projected onto the wall as a wailing alarm sounded.
“SEE!” the girl said. “That feeling of strangeness is the feeling that we want to avoid giving people. We don’t want to be the blight on a light heart, the ill on a chill vibe.
Then she sat back down. On the chair. “Thank you for dinner,” she said, to the audience-cum-date. “I feel angry, scared, confused, desirous and sad. I need to process this at home. Call me in a while, or go to a movie alone.”
So as you can see, we had lots of fodder for a very interesting conversation. There was a charge in the room. I could tell the girls were happy to be sharing in ways they aren’t used to sharing.
I even had one mother call me and thank me for doing the workshop. She said her daughter had been mostly ignoring her for months, but that suddenly she was interested in hearing about her life experience as a woman who was both a mother and in business.
She sent me a gift certificate to Uncommon Fare. How sweet is that? I mentioned how I only eat organic, and she sent me this link: http://nypost.com/2015/06/17/is-diet-the-key-to-curing-autism/ . Really interesting stuff. She said her nephew was autistic but he was mostly cured. And she really cares about supporting it now. I’m going to keep this in mind, because I come across autism in my work with women and I will point them towards nutrition as an effective, chemical-free therapy.
I am very happy to see that talking about freedom and feminism can have such immediate and palpable benefits on a micro scale. It helps alleviate the feeling over overwhelm that sets in when you think of the whole world that needs to be saved.