And at thirty, I truly loved my body
as it encased a separate being
Heart beating within my heart
Relying on my blood
Trusting in my care
Sleeping sweetly, a quiet soul
Ignoring all of my plights
No longer ‘dealing’ with my body but rather, harvesting acceptance
Of what it means to be a woman – the fundamentals of who I am
To give life to who you are
To nurture what actually matters
and leave the rest behind
Heavy misshapen breasts, bulging round stomach
and clotted up legs
Grant undeniable truth
That I am a vessel, the caretaker of a blessing
The perfectly formed cherub loved prior to sight
I envision your tiny fingers within mine
Finding solace against my heartbeat
Resting on my skin
Ignoring all of our plights
Gaining warmth from my blood
Joy from your father’s smile
Harvesting acceptance of what it is
To be a child
A precious partner in this world
It’s my birth wish for you
To truly feel alive,
As you have built this aliveness within me


© Michelle Ham

“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.

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* Gloria Steinem