For 1sojournal Poetry Prompt #16: Day 16
incapable, harmony, prefer, ragged, write
damaged, sacred, allow, women, path
This Ageless Thing Called War
Live in a world
of knowing harmony.
Where most men
see women as less sacred
Prefer to see her as damaged,
for being born
to a female form.
Will only allow her
the ragged, jagged path
they have created
and spoken words
they choose to define
as God’s Will,
but never just their own.
Elizabeth Crawford 4/16/14
Notes: These particular words refused any other path I might have chosen. Yesterday, I read an interview done with former President, Jimmy Carter, about his latest book: A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power. The interviewer seemed uncomfortable, maybe even embarrassed when asking Carter if the book, and its subject matter, might define him as a “feminist”. The former president seemed quite comfortable with that definition. On the other hand, in the past week, I have also read two other news clips about a very different political view. One stated that women who use birth control are simply not taking responsibility for their own actions and choices, while the other felt that if women should have the right to birth control, then a man should have the “equal” right to use his superior strength to overwhelm her objections. I believe that means “she must be asking for it.” In college, my first degree was in History, where I learned that the conquering group, in order to subjugate those who were conquered, first set out to demonize the gods of the former ruling class. Before there was a Patriarchy, there was a Matriarchal ruling class, where the feminine was worshiped for her source of creative energies. It was the Patriarchy that first established boundary lines by creating defensible, fortified holdings that proved their ability to maintain and control whatever they considered themselves to own. Perhaps including a God who seemingly believes that half of His creation is nothing more than property, at best considered only second class, deserving abuse and punishment for being inferior?
I absolutely love the strength in your words!! This is a poem that deserves to be shared, read, and most of all, opened up for dialogue. Or if not dialogue, perhaps just grab men by their hair, drag em back to the cave, and beat some sense into them. LOL
Thank you very much Michael, so maybe we can begin the dialogue right here. If I were to do as you suggest (grab, drag, and beat sense into), even though there have been many times when I would have thoroughly enjoyed the immediate pleasure of doing so, that wouldn’t make me different, but the same and that just doesn’t work for me. More than a ‘feminist’, I guess I might be defined as a ‘feminine humanist.’ I truly believe that men and women were created differently for a specific reason. That we are individually, only half of a wholeness that can only be found in one another, and within the Universe’s need for completeness. Perhaps if we learn to respect one another, we can then relax and begin to share both our ‘toys’ and the ‘playground’ we inhabit. And eventually learn from one another what we really need to begin healing this planet we are presently destroying. (Okay, she steps down from her podium after wishing you a fantastic day because you have already given her the same). Thanks again,
We need the Matriarchy to rise up once more. Loved this, Elizabeth. Last week I watched Girl Rising, which you might enjoy – the stories of some young girls in countries where their lives are very harsh and where they are denied education………..but how their spirits, when given even a modicum of assistance, still rise up, shining and transformative.
Thank you Sherry, I fully understand for I know what my education did for me. Transformative is the correct word. And I believe that you and I are small elements in that Matriarchy and have a responsibility to keep writing words that will shine a light on that darkness of ignorance. Thank you my friend for confirming again, what it took so long to live and learn,
Argh! Men see women as less sacred than themselves…. we don’t matter to so many, and yes it is cloaked in “God the Father.” Patriarchy all mixed up with morality makes me want to puke. Here’s where my daughter would say…”Why don’t you tell me what you really feel, Mom?” Sorry for ranting here. But I love this piece, and thank you for it.
You are more than welcome to rant anytime your wish and you certainly wouldn’t be the first to do so. Anger is nothing other than a flow of energy, provided by the system to give us the fuel we need to stand and fight in whatever manner we choose, or to flee and save it for another day. And it also brings us an important choice…to use that energy flow in a constructive or destructive manner. You dear friend use it to construct, even here. I love the fact that your bond with your daughter is so strong that a few words from her memory could calm and quiet you. That I envy, even though I probably would have enjoyed whatever else you might have said. I was anticipating some strong reaction to what I had written. And am grateful it came from you,
I wrote my comment immediately following the heat of your poem, before reading your notes or any commentary. Passion and impulsivity. You gave it rise.
And glad that I did. Passion coupled with impulse often ends in creativity. I find nothing wrong with that. Creativity is a wise use of energy flow and is aimed at healing, both the individual and the viewer or reader. Now that is a circle of completion we can all appreciate.
Hugs from Wisconsin,
Elizabeth, I fear my humor was misconstrued, perhaps out of place in a serious context, but that is just how I respond sometimes. I would concur with you on several of your points, men and women are different, for good reason, but it is the I think it is the sense of entitlement that has been manufactured out of those differences that I o0bject to. And yes, religion instigated that so arrogantly over the last 2000 years plus. I also agree that it is in wholeness, in cooperation, in power WITH, not OVER that we find our highest fulfillment as a species, not as individuals or as genders. I hint at some of my opinions and thoughts sometimes, but rarely engage in open discussion, and yes, I know, remaining silent is just as bad or worse than proving oneself a Fool by speaking, but … I am not saint, but I do not conform to the mindset that most men believe and practice and it is one of my particular pet peeves to see, or hear about those beliefs or how they treat women in all situations. Your poem apparently touched a nerve LOL. I appreciate the chance to share a few thoughts here.
Dear Michael, I didn’t misconstrue your statement. How could I after reading your poem this morning in direct response to my own? I very selfishly used it as a springboard to continue the dialogue I hoped we had begun. My notes only hint at a mountain of other things, issues, and ideas I would like to share with others. My views are not new, but learned over the years. I too, suffer from that fear of not wanting to appear foolish. I knew that posting this poem was a big step for me, especially because of my own response to what I have been reading over the past week, seeing what is happening in my own life, and the lives of others all around me. It was also in a History class, that I first learned of the Dialectic, and became enraptured, for a time, in the thought of being a wee small part in the dialogue that results in steps toward evolution. That raises consciousness to new levels of ‘with’ rather than ‘over'(I really really loved that part of your current comment and it struck a deep chord of agreement in me). And now, I have a favor to ask. Would you please post your daily pieces over at 1sojournal? It makes no difference to me if they use the current word list or not. It does, however, make it easier for me to find what you are writing, and encourages others to do the same. Thank you again, for returning here and continuing the conversation,
regarding your favor, I must decline. It is increasingly difficult for me to continue writing and posting to my own blog. Thank you for reading and commenting, and for your prompts. My ability to interact with other writers is quickly diminishing and regrettably, I must focus on what I am able to do.
Understood and accepted. My own physical limitations can do the same, and have at times. I will continue to visit your site, and wish you the best in all of your endeavors.