Feminist Writing

Feminist poetry. And literature. There seems to be a lot of it out there …. judging by my feed, anyway. (For Christmas gift ideas, look no further than here) …. And it comes across as somehow above criticism – as though the sensitive subject matter places it in a file labelled ‘protected species’.

So when somebody (who chooses to remain nameless) throws one into my inbox I’m not entirely sure how to react (or how not to react).

So I throw it into the air and give it some space without commenting one way or the other ….. allowing others to judge her, but not me.

*

Tiptoeing alone

Prone.

God forsaken

Taken for granted

The world a long dark corridor

Nothing more

The eyes of the monster

Messing with light

Undressing me

Why fight?

Caressing me

With a cold hand

And colder heart

Why start

To understand

This dance

No chance

Of escape

When life itself

Is rape.

*

16 thoughts on “Feminist Writing

      1. Well, just in a symbolic sense, life is forced upon us. Fortunately, not all life is bad, whereas all nonconsensual sexual encounters pretty much are. So there’s that!!

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  1. Can we ever really judge someone else’s truth? Someone else’s inner landscape? We can choose to dive deeper because it calls to us or decide that someone else’s writing does resonate with us, but that, I think, is different from judging.

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    1. I agree with you, of course, in terms of truth. My only concern is that sometimes art that speaks of personal pain and hardship is somehow protected from artistic criticism. I think that our natural tendency for kindness can sometimes interfere with our judgement.
      But I honestly don’t know if, in terms of poetry or art, this piece is good, bad, or somewhere between.

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      1. I know I said I would not pass judgement. But I think the poem is too long – the first bit just an attempt at imagery that really doesn’t say anything.
        I think that just …

        Why start
        To understand
        This dance
        No chance
        Of escape
        When life itself
        Is rape.

        says enough

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Your revision is tight and focused but you are assuming that the other themes the writer touches on- feeling exposed, isolated, under examination- are less valid or important. I have always said that I am a selfish writer- I DON’T write for an audience, I write for myself. Survivors, particularly when they are just starting to process their experiences can find a lot of power and validation from the process of itself. The polish of the final result may be less important that the experience of finding their voice.

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      3. Poetry is so inherently subjective! What is the purpose of artistic criticism unless we are specifically asked to help someone polish a piece of work? Perhaps you were- I don’t believe you stated WHY the writer specifically sent the piece to you. Artistic criticism itself is inherently subjective- one reader may be a stickler for form and tradition while I, on the other hand, place value on rawness and authenticity.

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      4. Oh yes. I am all for rawness.
        Friends of mine formed a band about 100 years ago. They were raw and technically rough around the edges. They played in small venues. Eventually they reinvented themselves, polished everything up, and became one of the most popular bands in the country.
        I always preferred the earlier stuff.

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      5. I would argue that an hour on social media belies the idea that people have a ‘natural’ tendency for kindness! But I do agree, that when someone asks us for feedback on writing we don’t want to squash them.

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  2. I’m not a critic but I thought it was pretty powerful and captured thoughts that I don’t want to think. I may have removed some of the extra words but aside from that the poem succeeded in taking me to a place. Do you know why it was emailed to you?

    Liked by 1 person

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