WST Feminist Contributors

Search This Blog

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Poems from WST 101 OLA

WST Online Summer 2019 Poems 

Note from Professor McNair:

I think what makes Women's Studies different from other disciplines is that it is personally, as well as socially, transformative. Students are called upon not only to understand feminist perspectives, but to use this information as a form of empowerment. Thus, the concept of intertextuality is at the heart of how I teach Women's Studies and is especially conducive to the online learning environment. Students are encouraged to see the overlap between their readings and their own personal and cultural backgrounds, creating texts which reflect their new knowledge. These poems emerged as the result of reading essays about the historical and contemporary social construction of beauty and then resonating with the simple, yet profound, way in which poet Lucile Clifton's Homage to My Hips transcends biological determinism by flipping the gender norm of petite on its hips! Clifton's poem is the catalyst for this self-examination. In order to compose their own texts, students demonstrate a keen understanding of how the beauty myth has negatively impacted their own lives and rebel against it by celebrating and/or reimagining a culturally undesirable body or emotional part of themselves.

Homage to My Skin 
by Arielle Bernardin

This is who I am:
A woman who needs not one tan.
Blessed from God above,
This is the skin that I know and love.
Though I face disadvantages and trials in this world,
The skin I have is more precious than rubies and pearls.
Strong, independent and I never crack,
This is what it means to be black.
I may not be what this world calls “beauty and perfection”,
At least I know when I’m 70, I’ll still have a 40-year- old complexion.
You don’t hesitate to call a cop when I where a jacket with a hood,
But I know my worth, so it's all good.
Blessed from God above,
This is the skin that I have learned to love.

I Lost 
by Kaeltin Saint-Victor 

She was beautiful and smart
She was the love of my life
She had courage and strength
She was so smart, funny, courageous, and understanding
But at one point she became part of the majority
She lost her free will, her personality, who she was defined as a person
She kept swimming away, every time I got closer she'd only swim further
The pieces that were there didn't fit in with the rest of the pieces but the puzzle was never incomplete
She looked in the mirror and saw nothing
Nothing was there at all...
As if she was empty despite smiling
What she lost wasn't her husband or boyfriend, nor a child, sibling, or friend
What she lost was herself...

by Martha Chavarria 

My brain and eyes work perfectly fine
Yet I don't look like fine wine
My eyes see the imperfections on my skin
Though this is a sin
I don't see me win
This game of beauty, though it is not my duty

The need to copy an image
Which makes me so timid
Yet cannot kill my spirit
I have admitted to seeing the imperfections
That can be fixed with injections
My body deserves affections, not corrections

Homage to My Spirit 
by Shannon McSweeney 

Homage to the spirit that guides me,
From Long Island Sound to the Straits of Gibraltar
From sandy beaches to the highest mountains
Homage to the spirit that keeps me strong
Traveling with a head held high upon strong shoulders
Under long legs that carry me
Confident to follow my own path
Homage to the spirit that makes me different
For lack of common ground keeps my conversations interesting
Homage to the spirit that craves love and adventure
Love keeps me grounded and caring
Adventures leave me free floating in 90 ft waters
And hanging 200 feet off of cliffs
Homage to the spirit who calls me to the water
The tides are constantly changing
The ocean’s inconsistencies keep me from being stuck
My spirit she keeps me free
Homage to my spirit
She never stops dancing, laughing or loving
Homage to the life I lead I’m happy to live this life

Homage to My Growth 
by Lor-ren McPherson 

Homage to my growth
I pay homage to who I was then
I pay homage to who I am now
Who I was then was fearless and flawed
Who I was then was insecure and felt small
Who I was then was in a rush to grow up
Who I was then didn’t say when enough was enough
Who I am now is stronger than ever
Who I am now is still flawed but whatever
Who I am now has grown to embrace my fears
Who I am now isn’t afraid to have tears
Who I am now is confident and stands tall
Who I am now is perfect even though flawed
I pay homage to who I am now
Because who I am now has overcome many things through all of my growth.

Homage to What I Can Do 
by Erin Stark 

Homage to my heart.
A heart that’s been broken,
but finds a way to beat.
Homage to my eyes.
Eyes that have seen lost,
but finds a reason to open every morning.
Homage to my hands.
Hands that constantly shake from fear,
but finds the strength to catch myself when I fall.
Homage to my brain.
A brain that constantly thinks of the worse,
but finds the logic to know my worth.
Homage to myself.
Myself that feels weak at times,
but knows that there is nothing I can’t do.

Homage to My Body 
by Kiana Rodriguez

She’s so pretty She’s so lucky She’s got all the guys attention It’s quite a shame Not to mention The things she does All because Society says What makes you pretty You don’t have It’s unachievable Inconceivable To understand Why she hates herself Silicon’s expensive Injections hurt This hurts more At what cost will happiness come Is it real Or is it artificial But she’s not happy These feelings run deep Ya’ll don’t understand Waking up hurts Makeup hides the flaws But what makeup fixes Cannot be fixed For what is broken Is on the inside. I pay homage my body My insecurities are a part of me But they do not define me My spirit is cracked Though it is not broken My body is mine Unique to me And only me

I Feel 
by Harpreet Kaur 

I feel short
I feel fat
I don't even think I'm pretty all the time
But that doesn't mean I stop loving myself
I feel short
I feel fat
The world looks at me and laughs
I still wake up every morning and stand strong
I feel short
I feel fat
My parents look at me as their beautiful daughter
The world looks at me with hatred
I feel short
I feel fat

by Sara Orrino 

small hands reach towards a bright future
yet, brown eyes watch life happen before me
as i take a backseat in shame of who i am

a broken down body cannot lead
and so sickness takes over on autopilot
beaten up inside and out from highs and lows

i do not want this job
i do not want this responsibility
i do not want to be a slave to these numbers

but life is an uphill battle
and nothing is handed to anyone
so you must grab your life by the horns

take back what is yours
i have a disease
the disease does not have me

i love the strength i have gained
from carrying the weight of my world on my shoulders
only to learn this weight is not mine alone

i love the patience i have built
from waiting on my own world to change
only to know I am the only one who can change it

and i love my "broken" body
because it is mine and no one else's
and by loving it I have come to know it is not broken at all

My Body 
by Christine Moise 

My body is not your once a week escape. My body is not a whole you bury your shame in. My body is not the place you hide your insecurities. My body is not your weekly drink from the fountain of youth. My body is not your walk-in closet. My body is not a game of operations you pick at when there’s nothing better to do. My body knows what you think of me. My body knows I deserve more. My body won’t allow you to reduced to a whore. My body, this body; Would rather spend nights alone, crying under covers Because this body can’t stand another night of being your drunken lover.

Homage to My Body 
by Kathryn Eleanor 

Thick skinned, fat laced.
I am so sorry.
Hair interweaved, porcelain skin.
I learned.
The sun blistering, the freckles pop
I healed you by myself.
I have thought so low of you, I fed you on my own.
Never did I treat you correctly.
I love you today.
Homage to my Body
I wish I loved you yesterday.
I did not love you. But I promise, I did not feed you.
I will love you tomorrow.
I abused you.
Homage to my Body
I cut you.
You are beautiful.
The skin torn, the stream of red.
You are strong.
The only comfort I found was pain.
Sexy, resilient. In silence, I sat.
Delicate, and whimsical.
You are my temple.
Homage to my body
Homage to my Body.
I let others abuse you
Thank you. Touch you, hate you.
I love you.
I let their words hit you.
I let you down.
I let you hurt.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Saturday, May 5, 2018

By Raquel Hall

In January 2016, Barack Obama became the first president to comment on menstruation when YouTube star Ingrid Nilsen asked him why tampons and pads are taxed as luxury items in 40 states. Hw writes: “I suspect it’s because men were making the laws when those taxes were passed.” Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui made top news  for talking about her period at the Olympics. She finished 4th in the women’s 4x100-meter medley relay, she was doubled over in pain holding her stomach. When asked why, she says, “my period started last night, so I’m feeling pretty weak and really tired. But this isn’t an excuse. At the end of the day, I just didn’t swim very well.” Even Whoopi Goldberg started a medical marijuanacompany with an entire line of products aimed at helping with the pain of menstrual cramps.

When we now enter most of the women’s bathrooms of the NCC campus  whether it is heading to their first class or the gym , they’ll find something new like in many campus bathrooms: free tampons and pads.

There’s been a lot of conversation about why pads and tampons are a necessity, not a luxury, but not a lot of action. Low-income students struggle with having the necessary funding for food, let alone tampons.Brown University being one of the first higher-education institutions to implement this  program. The putting of menstrual products in women’s, men’s and gender-inclusive bathrooms,because after all not all people who menstruate are women. To set a tone of trans-inclusivity and not forget that they’re important to society.Of course I expect the internet trolls and the ignorant to pushback.All thanks to funding from the student-run undergraduate finance board menstrual products will be available in approximately 30 to 40 bathrooms across campus for the 2016–2017 school year. A lot of other student governments are going down the university route. We really want to encourage them to take matters into their own hands.Students at Brown aren’t the only ones going back to school this month with unprecedented access to menstrual products.As of this autumn, New York City public schools will provide free tampons and pads in all secondary school buildings. The move is part of the city’s landmark legislation, passed on 13 July 2016, ensuring free menstrual products in all public schools, shelters and correctional facilities. (In July, New York also became the 11th state to eliminate taxes on menstrual products. The new law went into effect on 1 September, yet some stores, including a handful of Duane Reade pharmacies in the city initially continued to charge the tax.

New York City launched a pilot program putting free menstrual products in one school last spring, then gradually expanded it to 25 schools. Students must feel comfortable during their classes so they can focus on learning, and having free, easy access to menstrual products is essential. Unlike toilet paper, which is provided for free in school restrooms, students are typically on their own to access menstrual supplies. Yet in order to be fully engaged in the classroom, these are as much of a necessity as pencils and paper. This is especially true for younger teens who are more likely to be caught off guard by the arrival of their period and without budgets of their own to buy emergency tampons or pads. This NEEDS TO CHANGE!