Have you ever been hit in the face?
Or bitten or spat on or kicked?
Have you ever been told
that you’re ugly and old?
Have you pursed for a kiss
And been licked?
Have you ever been peed on in bed?
Or pushed till you fell on the floor?
Have you ever been bruised,
battered, bashed and abused
till you just couldn’t take anymore?
Do you cry in the night while he’s sleeping?
Exhausted, alone and afraid
Do you swear that you will
never give up the pill
as you stare at the monster you’ve made?
“A gender-equal society would be one where the word ‘gender’ does not exist: where everyone can be themselves.”*
I’ve always been aware of gender conditioning and actively tried to combat any lingering prejudices or stereotypes in my own parenting, even down to encouraging dolls with my boys when they were little. It’s great to read people writing about gender issues they’re experiencing with their kids. For too long these subjects have been discouraged or silenced. I’d love to publish some more creative writing on this topic, especially if you are struggling with a child who actively tries to move away from gender normative preferences. A society where everyone can be themselves – thanks Gloria for those aspirational words.
* Gloria Steinem