This is a poem for my son, homeless,
whose heart, at 27, appears to be
in shreds, whose walls are so thick
his answers to my questions come in sharp
stabs of accusation, with obscene words
and shattering of glass, with walls marked
in blood. If anger expressed is cleansing,
when does it end, where is the healing?
I see gold earrings in ear lobes, head
shaved in stripes, torn and wrinkled
clothing, beat-up shoes, not to mention
work-hardened chapped hands and hurting
feet instead of a paycheck earned from love
of beauty and words and music, instead of
a wife and family, and now, instead of a home.
“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