26 October 2017- That feminist SANKOFA
To the part of my identity that other women whisper to me like a curse word –
to the feminist that lives in me and you and Rupi and Koleka.
An ode to her.
To all you God-forsaken feminists,
The art of being empty –
I have murdered a thousand women in the name of self-preservation and my cousin misogyny has stood over the graves of their dreams of independence and self-belief.
My Brother Violence is the gatekeeper,
and he drags their lifeless corpses in with no remorse
dumping them head first into mass graves marked only by silence.
Well, I’m your friend patriarchy.
The art of being empty-
I am an artist but my canvas is never blank – has never been
which is half the problem.
I am an artist and the world’s best thief,
I am a shapeshifter that most of you haven’t even recognized.
I have touched your children so intimately,
I have altered their very make with a violence so well- rehearsed that you call it
“home-training” or even worse “being polite”,
respectability politics and I are best friends.
I am a thief and I have stolen from you time and time again,
so skilful that no evidence of my presence remains.
I sell a lifestyle that has been bought into for centuries,
so well marketed that I am now called “tradition”
and my sons gatekeep and protect me so fiercely
that in the 21st century all I have to demand is a subscription to heterosexualgenderroles.com/
I sell a brand of erasure so pure you don’t even know I was there – for the most part
You will only see the remnants of me in my militarized sons who have become
my co-accomplices, policing everyone including themselves –
it’s really a flawless system.
So flawless that I have managed to suture and tailor make history to my liking
well with the help of my cousin Violence that is,
so skilful is my art that I framed my cousin as a necessary means to an end – a hero even.
Isn’t that what you call the periods of history where even I lost control of my cousin?
I even managed to colour in that rouge lot called feminists as “bitches”…
Still, I haven’t managed to kill them off – not yet
which is surprising because I have known them since birth,
I have spoken to them about sitting with their legs crossed,
taught them how to laugh at my sons jokes (even when they aren’t funny),
taught them that funny girls don’t get the guy,
and of course that getting the guy is all that matters.
With some of them, I have instructed my sons to do things more unmentionable,
and it is in the unmentionable moments when I achieve my victory –
because my Uncle Shame creeps in,
using the Rohypnol called silence so effectively.
Odd really, that I have to instruct the use of roofies as if trapping them beneath a glass ceiling isn’t enough –
no matter because sometimes that isn’t even enough –
the use of roofies, once it wears off,
sometimes they speak up, talk back
because Misogny hadn’t succeeded in cutting them off enough,
But it’s okay because I reach into my toolbox and pull out a large paint palette of ‘doubt’ and paint over every truth in the shade called “are you sure?”
I’ll call up to the ever-present drone of Invalidation and he’ll land and with a silencer- bullets of
“what were you wearing?”,
“…but he’s such a good guy?”
“If you were a good girl this never would have happened…”
will fly into the chest of the victim.
Oh yes, Invalidation will land, squashing the situation entirely –
because let’s be clear it’s unmentionable just the way I like it,
I mean I can’t be incriminated in a crime like that – at least not publically.
Oh you doubt my methods do you?
If you need proof look at my sons – my trophies ;
my son Brock,
my boy Okmalumkoolkat,
my champion Harvery wienstien,
my golden boy Donald
my liberation song Zuma
There is no position which will remain untouched by me and my cousin misogyny.
So to answer your question – No…
I haven’t managed to kill off those bra-burning feminists as of yet,
but I sure do know how to provoke them,
I know their rage incinerates them alive and while their screams serve as a war-torn anthem of liberation it also draws attention to me –
and any publicity is good publicity right?
I haven’t managed to kill off those ‘ The future is female” t-shirt wearing feminists,
but you have to admit that there is an artistry in inventing for my sons an imaginative space to occupy so toxic that feminism dies in its presence –
I mean I’m a mastermind,
my sons believe in their egos as if the male ego isn’t a concept thought out by me to suffocate the brilliance out of women,
as if it wasn’t thought out by me as an intellectual baton to verbally beat brilliant women into place, forcing them to tip-toe around my sons’ space as if they even have enough space to occupy as is…
I haven’t managed to kill off those Koleka Putuma reading feminists just yet,
but I have managed to corrupt the image of God enough to make them hate Him,
suturing words in the bible to construct Him to look like me and surely that is an art form in itself?
I haven’t managed to kill of the Beyonce loving feminists just yet because that is an uphil battle I wasn’t prepared for – but my boy Jay-Z helped me.
* Deep sigh sipping on Lemonade*
I haven’t managed to kill off the Princess Nokia’s of this world
but I have managed to make great deals of women disappear without a trace.
Many women have died a thousand deaths in my name in one lifetime –
What do I mean?
Look at the word disappear
D I S A P P E A R
D I S A P P E A R
I S A P P E A
S A P P E
P P E
There is only one “I”
and that I in most women has been coloured in by my expectations.
There is only one “I” in disappear
and while many of them, those ‘I”‘s, have disappeared and
stood over the unmarked mass grave of the things that I have denied to them,
the only thing that becomes apparent on their face is the ghost of who they once were and the shame that they think is their own – derived as a result thereof.
The only thing that reappears as they stand silent over the unmarked grave of who they once were are the two p’s necessary to appear again in disappear.
Patriarchy and Perseverance –
Sometimes I win.
Sometimes I lose.
I am an artist – that much is true,
I am probably the most underrated artist in existence
I am probably the oldest artist alive
I mean you have to admit that there must be artistry in a woman emptying herself out to be filled up with ideas that she knows good and well are beneath her and the men that demand them from her.
There is an artistry in the way that I make women disappear,
only to full them up with an acid that eats them alive until the only relief available is a subscription to my brand of erasure.
There is an artistry in being able to murder people and leave them still breathing.
There is an artistry in domination so subtle that half the world is still unaware of all the ways they study and practice my medium of terror,
Help me along as I suffer beneath the new onslaught of self-love
and learning and unlearning.
In the tension of invisibility and hypervisibility, I do what I do best –
until my sons call on me again to police women in a way only I know how.
What I have not told my son about is the fear I hold towards these women that they trample on, because for centuries their mother called Resilience has gnashed her teeth at me.
I have not told them about the girl child she gave birth to called feminism and how she calls out to her clan unaffected by the rhophynol of silence that my cousin misogyny swore for centuries was full-proof.
I have not told them how self-love snuck into the graveyard past Violence and has exhumed the corpses of what we worked so hard to make disappear.
I have not told them how the girls returned to themselves in the same way that the ocean waves flood the shore but always return to their original source.
I have not told them of how Feminism looks me in the eye and claws at
the heart of my being – toxcicity- ripped right out of my chest
with freshly manicured nails.
I have not told them about the rebellion that I sense is on the way because there is a flaw in the system –
I told my sons child-rearing is beneath them and left them to women.
But what if the women rebel?
and start teaching our children to denounce my artistry, me and all my family –
And child-rearing is all they’re good for – don’t get me wrong… but what then?
I fear I won’t survive a grassroots rebellion.
I fear my days are numbered as I look at this graveyard called history,
looking at the unearthed graves where those feminists pulled out their decaying corpses,
breathed them back to life with a love so pure my fingerprints were eviscerated,
standing on sinking sand,
I feel the graveyard call me home to rest,
I feel the grim reaper is rising up against me –
calling my name enraged that I believed I could put him out of work forever
in this war called femicide,
I feel my old bones growing weary as my art form falters with every womxn who starts to spell her name with that x and hits unsubscribe regardless of how it makes her look.
I fear because I’ve begun to feel
and feelings are for the women.
Your friend Patriarchy is on his deathbed and no one has come to visit,
less of my sons have come to nurse me back to health,
Your friend patriarchy is on his deathbed.
Your friend patriarchy was never your friend,
But you figured that out a long time ago – didn’t you?
You bitch you,
I know when I flatline you will have won,
But we’re at war so I write this from behind enemy lines to let you know that I haven’t given up yet, and- I probably never will.