Real Woman XX

I am woman
A three dimensional
Four dimensional being
Not an idea
In some guy's mind

I am my DNA
I am the hormones
And chemicals
That bathed my brain
And shaped this body

I am the culture
The society
The religion
The education
That indoctrinated me
And oppressed me

I am my lived experiences
And psychological imprinting
From childhood to puberty
To adult woman
To elder

I lived my menses
And the cramps
And the earthy odor
And different shades of blood
And pads, and tampons
And diva cups and PMS

I lived my breasts
From the tiny painful buds
And first bras and giggles
To erogenous to lactating
And suffered lewd comments
And mammograms
And the fear of cancer

I lived my vagina
My vulva--labia and clitorus
My G-spot and orgasms
And yeast infections
And indignity of
Yearly pap tests
With my legs in stirrups
I suffered with the fear of STDs
And cancer, and being raped

I lived pregnancy
Three months of vomiting
The disfigurement
The swelling and stretching
The quickening
The fear of birth defects
The fear of complications

I lived labor
Pain beyond the pain scale
Designed for men
Pain beyond the breathing exercises
Designed by men
I lived perineal stitches
The smell of amniotic fluid
And more blood and cramps

I lived being a daughter
A sister, a niece, an aunt
I lived motherhood
The dissolution of self
For the sake of another
And changing me to us
I lived menopause
And hot flashes

I lived the fight for equality
In a country run by men for men
Where I learned God is a man
And Jesus is a man
And the President is a man
And doctors and judges
And the police are men

The road was long and rocky
To uncovering
My female power
It is built into my bones
Into my heart, into my soul
My maternal ancestors
Whisper through my
Maternal Mitochondrial DNA

Now I am being told
A man is a woman
Because he thinks he is
His imagination is worth as much
As my neurological, biological
Psychological programming
And all my lived experiences...

Brother-sister I wish
You well and safety
In your search
For a safe place
To land
But you are
Not a woman

No means no.


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