10 Slam Poems In Honor of Women's History Month

10 Slam Poems In Honor of Women's History Month

Go forth and be feminists!
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According to the Merriam-Webster English Dictionary, the word “feminism” is not as wishy-washy as the culture of 21st century American life has made it out to be. It does not mean, as some alt-right activists (read: racist, misogynistic pigs) would have us believe, being a man-hating, hairy legged lesbian (although, it certainly can mean that and to all those hairy legged lesbians out there- I do not condone hatred toward anyone- I see you and I think you are amazing). It is not either, as an entry on Urban Dictionary states, “a pitiful reason for fat chicks to get on TV.” In fact… I’m not really even sure what that means. Most of all, it is not a philosophy, movement, ideology that advocates or believes in the superiority of women over men.

Rather, it is a philosophy, movement, ideology that believes that the fucking saddlebags of oppression have been weighing women down for far too long. It is a philosophy, movement, ideology built from the bones and dust and yes, the raging bloody rivers from inside the depths of all the glorious uteri. It is a philosophy, movement, ideology that acknowledges the forced silences of white women. It is a philosophy, movement, ideology that MUST learn to acknowledge the silences of black women, Asian women, Latina women, trans women, and all the women in between.

Since, as a white, straight woman, I cannot speak for all women, here are five wonderful slam poems that speak to the many different experiences of the women that make up this diverse country.

1. "9 Things I Would Like To Tell To Every Teenage Girl" by Melissa Newman-Evans

Favorite line: "The world is trying to kill you. It is trying to do this by stealing your voice... Kill it back."


2. "Ain't I A Woman" by Kai Davis

Favorite line: "Didn't a white girl closed-mouth smile at me today, tell me I'm beautiful then hack apart my body? Wear my lips, ass, and hair like a costume?"


3. "Maybe All Transgender People Are Really Vampires" by Chrysanthemum Tran

Favorite line: "Maybe I was born womb-less and wounded, born bloodthirsty for whatever would make me more woman."


4. "Unbuttoning My Boy Shirt" by Joy Young

Favorite line: "It is easy for eyes to read me in binary dress code. One zeroes in on my body and hair and clothes, how they clash expectation."


5. "The Bride" by Emi Mahmoud

Favorite line: "The first thing her mother taught her was how to wipe the tears before the blood dries. Shredded knees heal, but shame never fades away."


6. "#gamergate" by Elisa Chavez

Favorite line: "They treat me like so much public pixel and blame me for dressing in the only skin I get."


7. "10 Honest Thoughts On Being Loved By A Skinny Boy" by Rachel Wiley

Favorite line: "The phrase 'big girls need love too' can go die in a fire."


8. "Ode To My Bitch Face" by Olivia Gatwood

Favorite Line: "Bitch Face, I don't blame you for taking the iron pipe from their hands and branding yourself with it, for making a flag out of your body bag."


9. "To JK Rowling, From Cho Chang" by Rachel Rostad

Favorite line: "Thank you for giving me no heritage. Thank you for giving me a name as generic as a ninja costume."


10. "The Period Poem" by Dominique Christina

Favorite line: "Spill your impossible scripture all over the good furniture."


This month is women’s history month. That’s what we get, I guess. A month, to make up for all the histories we didn’t get to write. It isn’t perfect, but I suppose it’s a start.Here’s hoping they’ll get you pumped up to destroy the patriarchy and make your voice heard!

So, go forth, be feminists, and let your feminism be intersectional.




Cover Image Credit: NY Daily News

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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The Trump Administration Made Me Rethink My Journalism Major

Because hearing "fake news" every day can take its toll on a person.

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In a time of crisis and overall political tension, being a journalist has become even more stressful than ever. On November 8, 2016 people around the world saw America at its wildest. As I've graduated from high school and began college within the first two years of 45's presidency, being a journalism major during this time made me rethink if I really wanted this anymore.

When I walked into my first journalism class at UT, it covered the basics. The history of journalism, watchdog journalism, yellow journalism, and multimedia influence. The deeper I got into my studies the more I realized how skewed the American media was/could be. I was tired of turning on my TV or checking into Twitter and seeing Trump's face or his tweets plastered all over my timeline.

Eventually, I found myself disconnecting from media, I stopped watching the news, I didn't check into Twitter as often, I turned off the breaking news notifications on my phone. There was just a period where I was, exhausted. I was tired of the arguments, the fake news outbursts, the constant back and forth between government and the media.

I felt like as a journalism major, I was about to walk into this mess at any given moment, granted I wasn't going into political journalism it still felt like I was going to be involved somehow.

I became so disconnected to the point where I was bombing current events quizzes. I was just tired. The whole idea of being a journalist was to bring the truth to the people, or that's what young Courtney thought it was supposed to be.

As I grow older and continue my degree and pick up different disciplines within my major, I remember that only the strong can put up with all this and still try and bring the news to people day in and day out. Despite the incoherence that America seems to be trapped in and despite the animosity that Americans have towards each other, I still have hope in us. I still have hopes that despite what has happened in the past two years, it will get better. It might take a while. Some things might have to burn to the ground but I know that there is hope.

So, if you're a journalism major or a political science major or whatever, and you feel personally obligated to fix our country, don't worry. We'll get our chance and we're going to get it right.

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