There are no apples left for picking
At least not the ones that brought collective sin
So why do we feel like we’ve ruined Eden?
When we weren’t even named after Eve
Why do they bar our own progress?
Condemn us when we show our strength
Why can’t we be our own winner?
must thank a man for our gain
cut to the quick
Did a bite symbolize the fall of man
or was just that of a woman?
In response to dVerse’s Poetics: Apple! hosted by Ha who asks us to write use apple as a thematic or a metaphorical element in our poem.
This poem is dedicated to all women who have faced and are still battling with inequality, sexism and double standards. Like Bjorn, today’s prompt reminded me of the Forbidden Fruit. And it was thanks to Carol’s End of the Garden for inciting the idea of this piece. Let’s celebrate Women’s Month!
You who are probably wearing a little black dress or a loose shirt and skinny jeans or your grandmother’s overalls.
I want you to know that you can spit them now. Your hatred, your frustration, your anger. You are not a refugee from the past. You are here, now – breathing, living.
When you happen to pass a dark alley and you hear the whistle of lust, it’s okay to fight your might. Do not allow that man to define you in fragments. Skin, neck, legs, breasts and thighs— as if you are a piece of meat that can be pulled apart. I will join you in particicution for we are more than the gates of heaven that opens in one thrust. We are capable of giving them hell.
But, remember, you are also free to take flight. It is not your fault to tremble and feel your body shake. When the outside world and your mind are in equal darkness, it’s okay to cry. This world is cruel and respect is nothing but an amputated speech. I understand your distrust.
I’ve heard it too, passed on to me in soundless words with their lips hardly moving. Yes, they do not touch us but their eyes take off our clothes faster than their hands do. They claim respect but they reduce our worth to the size of an hourglass, a number, a measurement, a color. A rape joke with a disclaimer “do not take it personal”.
You! Yes, you.
Spit it out, that acrid taste of misogyny and sexism. Be angry and be frustrated because this is not what you deserve. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.
This one’s inspired by Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, a harrowing story chronicling women’s struggle and survival set in a strict patriarchal society. The book is more that just a dystopian classic, it’s a warning to a not-so-distant future.
I was not at the wrong place at the wrong time. Their eyes followed me with a laugh— or perhaps a mock— as I sit on the stand. My anguish did not mean a thing and I only reaped what I have sown.
I was asking for it.
When my shaking hands pointed at man across the room, I saw them smirk. My giggles the other night begged to differ the word I am trying to utter, R A P E.
I was asking for it.
Before the judge, the defense flashed a picture of my girlfriends and I. Hands holding a glass of vodka, laughing with our heads thrown back, the neon lights flashed before our tight miniskirts. I felt dirty with shame as I buried my face in my palms.
I was asking for it.
I should have known better the moment I slipped into my short skirts and high heels. I should have known the danger and the danger I bring. You see where this is going, right? When a man twice your age stops you with a leering face, it is your fault. Men will be men, and we are but a single piece plucked from their ribcage that they need to reclaim. It has always been their birthright.
I was to blame when his groin pressed down on me as his tongue slithered all over my skin. My shouts were that of ecstasy. My tears were that of joy, they say. I fucking liked it because my breath quickened with every thrust!
I was asking for it.
He showed the marks on his back with pride. That night, I buried my fingernails deep into his skin. God, I wished they were knives. Each night, the bare wall in my bedroom echoes his moans. His groans. The sound of slap from an unrecognizable monster plays on repeat. No anti-depressant or pill can help me sleep.
I wish they were knives.
I wish to be guilty of murder.
I wish I had killed that man.
I was never told being a woman is an open invitation to be fucked. That I am a platter of legs, thighs, breasts, and neck served for hungry beasts to devour. And when the meat is handed free, what kind of animal would dare to scowl?
I was asking for it, wasn’t I?
“Duterte, in a speech in Mandaue City, joked that his hometown of Davao City has a high number of reported rape cases because it has many beautiful women. Those who attended the President’s engagement laughed at the joke.” –GMA News
This is Philippines. Where a president jokes of pardons for soldiers who rape. Offers Filipino ‘virgins’ to foreigners with purchasing power. And orders soldiers to shoot women rebels in the vagina, so they become ‘useless.’ This is not the first time and it will not be the last.
This morning, through a friend’s post, I read a circulating issue regarding one Angkas driver here in Cebu. Angkas, a motorcycle ride-hailing service accessed through a mobile booking app, has been one of our reliable mode of transportation for quite some time. It appears that he was pressing the lady passenger to come with him to a motel.
This afternoon, in a sports warehouse, a man kept on stealing a gaze. As I was checking out shoes, he brushed his hands to mine “by accident”.
Tonight, as I get out of work, I do not want to go home. I assessed I have gotten used to it but the thought of men giving you catcalls and ogle as you pass by them is equal parts disturbing and tiring.
No harm done, they say. But what of the seconds we spent holding our breaths? What of the palms curled into a fist, just in case? What of the trembling knees? What of the fear as we breathe? Don’t these count?
a beast awakes in her sleep
recounting all of her defeat
etched on her skin are downfalls
broken hearts and failures
but day breaks with renewed faith
trampling over the nasty beast
the odious markings on her skin
she wears with pride again
“Honey, I believe it’s illogical that you keep on wearing these pointy heels and then endlessly complain about them. It doesn’t make sense.” Howard grumbled as he bent down to strap his wife’s high heels.
He loves her dearly but sometimes his Lisa could be too… clamorous. She looked stunning tonight. Her curly hair tossed gracefully just above her shoulder, her eyebrows arched and delicate, her legs flared gradually along her metallic dress. But what he hated were her heels. His ears were deaf from her complains.
“Sense?” Lisa barked, looking down at Howard. “Would barefoot be much better? It’s a party we’re going to. It’s a jungle out there. We, ladies, need to be equipped. And this— my edgy husband— is how we flaunt our splendor.”
“Honey,” he muttered, folding his arms across his chest, “From a logical perspective, you are teeming with splendor with or without these heels.”
Lisa smiled slyly and gave a kiss, “And from a logical perspective, we’re going to be late if you don’t get those straps done, Mister.”
The rising sun hung above her head and casted a shadow over the verdant greens.
“Hello, shadow, my old friend.” Bree mused, snapping a photo of her dark reflection on the ground.
It has been nine months since she started a healthy-living life. Bree dropped the junk foods, the oily and sweet treats, and even renounced cheese (the root word of her name and her most favorite thing in the world). Her journey was agonizing and almost unbearable. On some nights, in the comfort of her pillows, she condemns the world for screaming how slim is better. Since when did that define a woman’s worth, anyway?
But Bree knew better. She lived a healthy life not to join the pageantry of vanity or to impress anyone but because she owed this to herself. She worked out, running four miles on weekdays, increasing her mileage each week, not to be better than anybody else but to be a better version of herself.
As she stared at her shadow, she couldn’t help but grin. Nine months ago, she was the size of a whale shark. Her outline was a shame. But now, she has lost over 200 pounds. “Almost there,” Bree mumbled.
Sunday Photo Fiction is a weekly writing challenge hosted by Alastair Forbes where a photo is used as a prompt for a piece of fiction using around 200 words. The piece doesn’t have to center around exactly what the photo is, it can be just used as a basis for a story. Thank you, Al!
International Women’s Day is a worldwide event that celebrates women’s achievements – from the political to the social – while calling for gender equality. It has been observed since the early 1900s and is now recognised each year on March 8. (Source)
So today, I decided to dedicate my posts to every beautiful, independent, and strong women around the globe. Here are some inspiring messages for all. 🙂
On being the type of woman
Sarah Kay was the first person who introduced me to Spoken Word Poetry years ago. Her works are awesome and heartfelt. Here’s a lovely piece she wrote and performed for the Button Poetry that speaks on what type of woman we are meant to be. ❤️❤️❤️
On being stereotyped by men
Most men, well, maybe those that I’ve met so far, view women as some damsel in distress in dire need of a knight in shining armor. Truth is we’re not. There are also battles we could fight and we don’t just simply sit in the corner with a screaming silence when situation occurs. Jane Austen could agree to that. 😉
On being beautiful
I think we’re locked in our own cage of self-doubt without us knowing that we had the key all along. Yes, I know, easier said than done, especially when the world that we live in starts defining a woman’s worth with it’s own scale entrenched by stereotyping (the sole root of anxiety among women). So here’s a song from Colbie Caillat to remind us that we are beautiful- inside and out. Remember that.
On being fearless
For that love of Taylor Swift (no haters, please!). I think Taylor has said enough in this one. 😄😄😄
On finding inner calm and peace
To those who are running, to those who are lost, to those who have fallen, and to those who have found the inner calm and peace. Here’s a beautiful piece from none other than Lang Leav.
On being yourself
An upbeat song from my girl crush, Tori. The lyrics say it all. 😉
On making choices
Who could better tell us the true strength of a woman than Angelina Jolie herself? An excellent actress, Ambassador of Goodwill, and a loving mother. ❤️❤️❤️
On staying on course
Lastly, I’m leaving you with a message from 2015 Miss Universe, the Philippine’s pride, and a woman who is confidently beautiful with a heart, Pia.
Written for Written for RonovanWrites’ haiku prompt #87: Class & Firm
I was looking for an image to go with this haiku when Google greeted me with a “Happy International Women’s Day!” What a coincident! Then I found this awesome illustration from Patsyfox. YAY! Cheers to all women (and women at heart?) all over the globe. ❤ ❤ ❤
Wake me Let my skin radiate with your every single touch
That the stars shining above would shy away from my iridescence
And the moon—grand and dazzling— would smile at us
Make my thoughts run wild as I curl inside your arms
Dreaming, wishing, and hoping that forever it will be you and I
Let me fill my head with stories and memories of us
Let my smile reach from ear to ear as I wake up by your side
Staring at those enticing deep brown eyes, breaking through my senses
I would love spending my every waking day with you
Let me greet the world with love, hope, full of faith and see the beauty
Even in very little things; make me believe that goodness still exist
Allow me to believe that I am strong, smart, and beautiful
And when I have risen from the ashes like a phoenix
And have danced round the fire like a moth
Let me thank you for waking me.
Thank you for waking
The beauty inside