Archives for the month of: April, 2013

Mama Welfare Roll
By: Maya Angelou

Her arms semaphore fat triangles,
Pudgy hands bunched on layered hips
Where bones idle under years of fatback
And lima beans.
Her jowls shiver in accusation
Of crimes clichéd by
Repetition. Her children, strangers
To childhood’s toys, play
Best the games of darkened doorways,
Rooftop tag, and know the slick feel of
Other people’s property.

Too fat to whore,
Too mad to work,
Searches her dreams for the
Lucky sign and walks bare-handed
Into a den of bureaucrats for
Her portion.
‘They don’t give me welfare.
I take it.’

Angelou, Maya. “Mama Welfare Roll.” N.p., 3 Jan. 2003. Web. 30 Apr. 2013.

Prior to reading this poem, I questioned why women don’t get up off their butts and make a change, If they don’t like something, make a change. If they don’t enjoy something, make a change!! But after reading this poem, I begin to see that the reason why many women are not taking a stand, is because we are too tired of being pushed down. Women do enough work at home that they become tired, and it is hard to put energy towards something if you don’t have any. Women keep searching for an answer but feel as though there is no answer to their dreams. This particular poem reminded me of Martin Luther King Jr. and how he himself made such a difference in our world. I hope to see a new face, a new leader, step out and stand up for all women that can’t.


By: Airea Matthews

Because it didn’t work the first time.
Eve was told to stitch her lips
carry her desires in bag of burdened flesh
and deny her nature, leaving
a fruit that deserved to be eaten
swinging from a branch of knowledge,
casting her in the role of lost, fallen
looking for a home .

Because it didn’t work the next time.
when the smoke of decay
settled in the throat of Lot’s wife
choked off her fire,
caused her to cough up bony soot
that blinded her, turned her about
turned her to salt and stone.

Because it didn’t work when they came
to take the sword out of her hand
and replace it with a feather and whispers
tried to mold Joan appropriate.
Displace her from the shout of angry battlefields
where maidens should not tread,
And though they tacked her to the stake to burn the body,
her armor continued to fight.

Because it would not work to hush
the diatribe of an ex-slave who stood
six-feet tall with hands full of vein and fury
when Sojourner asked, where your Christ came from
if not the loins of a woman? Told them to fill
up her pint with a portion from the quart.
And that the spirit of Eve rested on every
woman who knew how to turn the world
upside down by a simple decision.

Because it would not work to make Susan’s
heart a pickaxe and her words hollow.
When she said women had chains
even they didn’t see.
Saw us shafe under monuments
we never erected, foundations we never laid.
Then gave us each mortar and pestle
to build.

It will never work to call back the rivers
Once the waters are set free,
they take their form.
Drenching the bank and bed,
racing toward the ocean.

It will never work to pluck the moon
from its perch.
Another star will form to conduct waves,
tell the time in its craters, take shape
to light the paths of night.

It will never work to quiet
the only creation God ever made with her own hands.
Our mouths are bent back into flesh of lip
that burns hot with word. Grows cold with silence.
We will never sit back and watch our futures
made by omission. Our voices pave our destiny
You can not know what we think
You can not know how we live
You can not know how we love unless we
tell you of our sojourn.

And in this, we do not need directions.
Our hearts are our maps.
We will get there ourselves.
It has never worked to think otherwise.

Matthews, Airea. “Suffrage.” Wayne County Chapter, National Organization for Women. N.p., 30 Aug. 2010. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. .

This poem is very strong and meaningful to me. The very first few lines captivate my attention. The peom discusses how “it did’t work the first time” which I assume this is an allusion to women gaining the right to vote not being enough to gain full equality. Every first line of the poem tells something that did not work and then the poem shifts to how even if they tried to gain rights, it will never work. Women are feeling defeated from getting pushed down time after time. The poem also uses many literary techniques such as metaphors to show how vulnerable women are. I don’t understand what is the problem with men being dominant to the woman. I want to see a change in this world.

United yet Unequal

The Yin and Yang sign is a common everyday symbol. But how come when you look at the real meaning of the black vs. white, women are on the black side and have all of the negative attributes and men are on the white side and have all the positive attributes? Why is this when the black and white are dispersed equally? They might as well make the black area smaller than the white! And when you compare the original Yin and Yang symbol to the above picture, I think it just goes to show how unequal women are really treated and how they have less rights. Men’s rights take up over 2/3 of the entire Yin and Yang symbol. Women’s rights just get the left over, the scrap pieces. What is it about the woman figure that screams “don’t treat me the same as men?”. Or maybe we are asking for equality but no one is listening.

Woman and Salt
by Sara Shagufta

There are many types of respectability
The veil, a slap, wheat
Stakes of imprisonment are hammered into the coffin of respectability

From house to pavement we own nothing
Respectability ahs to do with how we manage
Respectability is the spear used to brand us
The selvedge of respectability begins on our tongues
If someone tastes the salt of our bodies at night
For a lifetime we become tasteless bread
Strange market this
Were even the dyer has no colours
The kites on the palm of space are dying

I deliver babies in imprisonment
The earth should be playful for legitimate offspring
Because you deliver children in fear today you have no pedigree
You are known by the name of one wall of your body

How you conduct yourself ahs been made central to your status
A beautiful gait
A false smile chiselled on your lips
You haven’t wept for years
Is that what a mother is like?

Why have your children turned pale
which tribe of mothers do you belong to
of rape, of imprisonment, of a divided body
or of daughters bricked up alive.
Your daughters in the streets
Knead hunger with their own blood
And eat their own flesh.
Which of your eyes are these
How many times has the wall of your house been bricked up
You let may daughter be my name
But your son’s name is the currency of the time

Today, your daughter tells her own daughters
I shall brand my daughter’s tongue
Blood-spitting woman is not a metal
Is not looking for bangles to steal
A battleground my courage, a spark my desire

We were born wearing shrouds round our heads
Not born wearing rings
Which you might steal.

Shagufta, Sara. “Woman and Salt.” SACHET Pakistan. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2013

This poem talks about how women do what they are expected to do and not what they want to do. Women are caged in by society. The poem also talks about how down the line, the generations to come are being persuaded to live by the same limitations that has been lived by society today. Women must take charge and make a difference in how society views and treats women.

My first post! 🙂

This blog focuses on my views and opinions of women’s rights for my Capstone project. I will be reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and posting my thoughts on it as well as posting other things that relate to women’s rights. I chose this topic because I feel as though it will be helpful to me in my future as I graduate from high school and go into the work force. It is also a very important topic that I feel is ignored by the public. I hope to go into a  buisiness career and if women inequality still continues, I will not be treated as an equal and may have touble finding a job. I hope women’s voices are heard in the next few years and changes can be made for the equality of men and women around the world.

I hope you enjoy reading my blog 🙂