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Mhelaney Noel Feb 2019
The American people are lotuses
Grown out of the murk
We’re periwinkle pretty, but we have residue on some of our petals
And one could drain the swamp, but we’d still be in it, withering in the harsh sunlight
They could select only the fairest lotuses to be preserved, but nature would be disturbed, mutated
The indigo birds that drink our nectar would be betrayed
Then they too would leave us
And leave the aphids without prey
In the absence of deep pink flowers nature would start to cave in on itself and white-hot turmoil would fester and procreate
So invaluable to us is our gradient of flowers
They were meant to be part of our roots, their magentas and mauves keep us balanced
Keep us from turning over into the muddy water where sunlight cannot grace our petals.
This poem was first published by the America Library of Poetry in their 2019 student anthology, Futures.
Varshini Jul 2018
Most days, you're not a woman developer,
you're a developer.
You work just as hard,
You (try to) talk just as fast
You keep your feelings under the surface (barely)

Actually, scratch that
You're always a woman developer.
you're just so used to internalizing these habits
Trying to have confidence in your skills
despite the impostor syndrome pulling you down each time slowly, like quicksand
Trying to make up for the confidence you never had
compared to someone who always had it all
Trying to not cry in the kitchen because god who
is allowed to have feelings
Trying not to talk about men who made you uncomfortable because oh my god

for the fact that people call women overreacting
most men seem to make every little statement about them, have you noticed?
oh wow, isn't this just reverse sexism?
oh wow, can I even talk to women?

Being so vocal about being queer and Indian but if you make
one noise
one sound
one phrase
about your experience as a woman
because in such welcoming company you subconsciously thought why not

You let down your guard
But
There goes the shattered glass as the topic of gender-based discrimination is finally broached
There goes the thing nobody ever talks about
There starts the debate you did not want to participate in

"Oh wow you're so harsh to these guys"
"We were just slamming what they were doing, you slammed their actual personality wow"
"I just said they sounded like a brogrammer"
"sure if you say so"
"Isn't that just an arbitrary description"

How do you explain
How do you describe every nuanced experience about
Every male in your life
who have been exactly like this to you
How do you explain the light discrimination
The harsh discrimination
The systemic problem as a whole

How can you condense all this into a workplace environment talk
Where you don't usually talk about this?
Where you don't know if you can actually talk about this
Where you know that you ultimately don't want to talk about this
cuz how can you explain these feelings that they can never understand

You shut up and move on with coding.
But inside, you're conflicted with ideas of presentations to express the fact, or never speak about this again
Because in the end,
You're just a developer, not a woman developer to them.
(Disclaimer: This does not talk about nb people because the main context involved a woman and a man and about their interactions, do not mean to erase nb peeps ily)
rohini singal Apr 2017
You ask me why I’m so angry all the time
I laugh because if I don’t I’ll cry,
I laugh because if I don’t I’ll cry.
And then you’ll call me emotional and hysterical
As if we’re still in the era of old where simple female reactions
Were pathologised and the bold locked up for being “mentally ill”.
You ask me why I’m angry and I simply scoff
And deny because if I start speaking about why
The rage in me will boil over like lava in a volcano
And then where will we be?
[pause]
I want to tell you,
I want to tell you why.
Why this rage, this utter, all consuming anger, this deep-rooted grief.
Let me tell you how I feel like crying whenever I hear about
Another **** case, another girl murdered for daring to refuse,
Another woman of colour who endured terrifying pain,
All because she was who she was.
Another minority violated, another black trans woman killed, her ****** unsolved,
Another child abducted and sold, like a commodity
Another another another
It never stops and it never ends
From micro-aggressions to gross violence
I feel it all in my heart
Like a stab between the fourth and the fifth rib
And it adds to my rage.
The words burst forth from my lips,
But I rein them in
Because even though I want to protest
Against your complete ignorance and your casual misogyny
And my being revolts in response to your words,
I stop myself
because you are my family, my friend, my peer
And if I say something
You’ll just ask me why I’m so angry all the time.
Sometimes there’s no winning
Resistance is futile
In a world so steeped in patriarchy
That it’s unaware of the consequences
Of perpetuating sexist narratives.
But I still want to fight
The oppressive systems that chain the girl child,
The casual way we respond to certain slights
Against the all encompassing freedom of women.
And I’ll take on a thousand such questions
If only I can change one life,
If only I can spread the word and fight the good fight.
And, I would have told you all this
If only you had asked.
If only you had the patience
To listen as I blathered on
About statistics and documented proof
Of how 50% of the world’s population
Is still under constant threat to their lives.
I repeat, fifty percent of the world’s population
Lives with a constant threat to their lives.
I would have told you about how there are thousands of accounts
Of harassment and abuse and violation of basic human rights,
The right to say no, the right to thrive.
I would have told you,
I would have told you all
If only you had asked.
So don’t ask me why I’m angry
Ask yourself why you’re not.
allen currant Oct 2014
every monday
she says she
wakes up
regretting
who she is

that going
through all
the *******
and fear is
not worth it

every monday
wishing for the
other side the
life of power
of comfort and
ignorance

every monday
she wakes up
wishing
she was not
a woman
i spent a long time talking with some friends and hearing the painful stories the women had was gut wrenching.  i don't often look to imbue my poems with definitive meaning but i want everyone to realize there is a constant, daily struggle that all women go through.  every single decision has to be calculated and then later analyzed to influence further behavior.  women are in a chess match with society to simply lead a comfortable existence and that will not stop until we destroy misogyny and make sexism a thing of the past.  if you are a man, think about your actions and decisions for once, see what it feels like, you are under no threat.  there must be an open, candid dialogue that exposes the virulent ignorance of our male dominated, overly masculine culture and forces everyone to rethink how they exist in that culture.
James Ryan Apr 2014
the racist lesbian
who once called me
an uppity ******
who forgot where I came from

just had a baby
in West Virginia
who will grow up
without a father

or any mother
to support his escape
from a hick-*** town
if he even wanted

so I can't laugh too hard
and I say God Bless
'cause that's what they say
where I was raised

and if I walk around college
calling that white trash
it would only mean
that she was right

— The End —