JUSTICE – Candice Louisa Daquin

woman-speaksx750Today my sisters and brothers

there is simmering fine-grained rage in the quiet pockets of woman all around the world

rage has not left the room

it is bottled in corners like a fizzing drink about to explode

rage has no accent or specific color

it owns the language of all who came before

it is the woman who is violated when there were only five humans on this earth

it is the child who is taught to condemn women as their first lesson and does not understand

why the woman who nurtures him is trampled on

rage is a quiet supermarket and a grocery shopper

who stands at the canned beans aisle with tears pouring down her face

for she would rather spend hours picking out canned goods than face

the ire of her husband and the laws that do not protect her from being beaten

black and blue

maybe rage does have a color

maybe rage will not always be contained in petticoats and corsets and push up bras

maybe it’s taken too long (oh yes it has taken too long)

but the souls of the witches, the souls of the healers, the souls of the mothers, the souls of the daughters

and their good sons, and their good sons

are rising once more

they clamor to be heard

in the infernal din that is society today

with perpetual noise nobody is listening, apathy has multiplied

nobody knows what is being allowed to happen

or they turn their faces thinking if it’s not trending it doesn’t matter

this doesn’t apply to me I am not a feminist

I am not a victim. I am not a survivor. I am not oppressed

I will not take part in your embarrassing crusade

they are content to post selfies in sexualized poses to gain

imaginary power and control

by the time they learn their folly it may be too late

if one of their kind is raped, they turn like a swarm of locust against her

you must have done something to deserve that, you are weak

did you drink? did you wear a short skirt? did you stay up too late? did you let a boy into the house alone?

then you caused this to happen and you can’t come crying to me

it wasn’t the choices of the male

after all; boys will be boys

we teach them that don’t we?

with hyper masculinity and shame

we teach them that don’t we?

with pornography and permission; if a girl is lying there, you can take her

even if she says no or is unconscious, go on it’s okay she won’t mind

rape isn’t as bad as murder, what’s all the fuss about?

animals rape animals, it’s almost natural

we teach them with our legal system that blames the victim

makes her stand scathingly beneath lights and attest her truth

to a room full of disbeliever

if she is lucky enough to get that far

usually the police office will say

love, don’t you think you should go home and sleep it off?

you may feel differently tomorrow when you’ve realized

the part you played in your rape

after all … all girls lie don’t they?

what about our poor sons?

what about our vulnerable men?

don’t they deserve some justice?

absolutely say the guilty women

now there are many rights and protections for men

women, they work twice as hard once again

just to be believed

to prove what they say, because she could be lying

what motive does she have? Maybe she just hates men. Maybe she’s a lesbian!

what motive to destroy the lives of young boys just starting out

after all, he’ll grow out of it … won’t he?

like the average 80 victims of a paedophile?

he’ll just spontaneously stop doing it

or maybe, he’ll realize he has societal permission

after all wasn’t it said in the Cosby trial

the jurors were not convinced by the room full of women who came forward

they believed he Cosby was guilty because he admitted it in a private hearing on camera

“when he said what he did, I realized he had to have done it” said one young juror

it seems the deafening voices of the women were not enough

how many voices? How many women will it take?

what about the boys though? our boys? why is this all about women?

boys get raped too and when they do, nobody listens, this is true

it is about men because men do 99 percent of rapes

boys who abuse girls, grow up to be men who abuse women

the supreme court is the highest court of the land

if we allow men who have abused women in

to become more embittered by their battle to get there

soon rights will be crushed under their malice

but isn’t it fair to give him a chance? After all he didn’t go all the way?

does it take that to justify? What happened to morality?

would you want someone who had done this to your daughter, sister, mother

on the supreme court?

why do we believe her?

did you LOOK INTO HER EYES

I did

I saw her tremble

no woman

no woman in the world

would stand up in front of the universe and say what she said

if it were a lie

it’s just too awful

political shifting aside (as we all know both parties are doing it and care little for the rights of victims and everything for the machinations of the political beast)

she will have to go back to her burned out life

a pariah on the run, homeless, shamed

if we don’t stand and say we believe you

who will?

if we don’t finally stand together and stop picking apart words like

feminism, womanhood and equality

and realize it still doesn’t exist

we are the only ones who can make it happen

if we don’t all have the courage of Christine

we may never make this world a better place

for all of us

women and men

boys and girls

no is no

sex isn’t violence

existing isn’t permission

to rape me or try to rape me

it’s not okay

it’s not okay

if you think you should be given a free pass

because I cannot produce 1000 witnesses

because I didn’t die

because you have changed

there is forgiveness and then there is consequence

there is right and there is wrong

not all men are rapists

not all women are victims

but in order to survive

we need to decide

what we are willing to tolerate

I don’t tolerate a network of naysayers

who take rape as seriously as forgetting their lunch

who think it’s okay to support someone who has those lack of morals

let’s change the system

let’s get all the debris out

it’s true those attracted to politics are often, the egomaniac, the narcissist

but not every man attempts rape

not every woman is a liar waiting to tear him down

let the good ones back in

and when a woman stands up

do not be a voice in the crowd jeering her down

do not automatically assume she has an agenda

other than trying to seek

justice

I Knew My Name- Christine Ray

I knew my name
when grown men
called me ‘honey’
fondled my braids
and pulled my
10-year old body
stiff with resistance
onto their hard laps

I knew my name
when the male high school teacher
called me “sweetie”
and told me not to worry about
the 70 on my exam
because girls don’t need
an A in chemistry
to be a good wife and mother

I knew my name
when the teenage boys
called me ‘ice queen’
‘cock tease’
when I didn’t want their
sloppy tongues down my throat
their rough hands
on my budding breasts

I knew my name
when men followed me
down the street
called me ‘bitch’
‘fucking dyke’
when I wouldn’t smile
or say thank you
to their declarations
of lewd things
they would do to me
once we were alone

I knew my name
when my children
called me ‘mommy’
389 times a day
until I wanted to scream
all other identities
lost in a fugue state
of lack of sleep,
endless laundry
and dirty diapers

I knew my name
when male eyes
slid off like teflon
as they absently
called me ‘maam’
when I turned 50
let my hair go gray
chiming in that I reminded them
of their mothers
as if it were a compliment

I knew my name
when I trusted my eyes
to see my own truth clearly
and my voice
to speak it
and rejected those names
I did not choose for myself
‘Ms. Badass’ will do just nicely


Inspired by Kindra M. Austin’s ‘I Knew My Worth‘, Aurora Phoenix’s ‘I Knew My Place’ and Kristiana Reed’s ‘I Knew My Mistakes.’

The Name They Call Her- Christine Ray

 

Always said with venom

Always intended to punish

“How dare you?!” it asked her

insinuating that she was uppity

presumptuous

a ball breaker

to draw a circle around her body

declare loudly “Mine!”

 

Was she 12 the first time

that she had been called bitch?

Or was it 16

when she tired of boys and men

acting like her body was theirs

to look at

comment on

hold down

insult

touch

control?

 

Tired of adult women

telling her to be

nice

quiet

polite

complacent

a “good” sport

She was NOT a good sport

 

The rage became a

knife

sharp

deadly

that she learned to yield

much too often

on her own flesh

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

This Room is Not for Rent-Christine Ray

 

The Greek chorus has declared me

damaged beyond repair

incapable of a “normal” life

“better off dead” say the well-meaning citizens

than “broken”

preferring the image of the golden haired innocent child angel

comforted by a merciful God

over the living angry woman

who refuses to be silent

I try not to let these voices

rent space in my head

they are destructive tenants

who forfeit their security deposit

scrawl graffiti in red lipstick on my walls

dirty

shameful

Lolita

guilty

complicit

whore

bitch

I try not to buy into the vitriol

when they imply that my life has no meaning

that I am an abomination

a red, raw, bleeding thing they deem too unseemly to look at

unfit for polite society

“Fuck You!” I want to shout at the top of my lungs with my hands covering my ears

Some days it is hard to find the armor of my rage

when I am just so god damned tired

of having to prove over and over again

that I am worthy of continued existence

that I deserve to walk this earth

breathe the oxygen

as if I am the one who must continue to do penance

for other’s sins

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

Feminism is my Realism- Kindra M. Austin & Christine Ray

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I am Organism

Female

Defense Mechanism

Natural

Feminism is my Realism

 

Because #MeToo, Motherfuckers

I’ve been abused

Been paid less cash

Called a Radical Cunt a

Bleeding Heart Liberal and

Put in my place—

Not my place, but theirs

 

I’ve been judged by the size of my body and clothes I wear

Been held back by (un)intelligent men and even stupider women

Who mock my Heart and Common Sense—

Slammed by Pseudo-Brain influenced by Meme Culture

 

I am Organism polluting the Cesspool

Feminism is my Realism

(Kindra M. Austin)

I am Organism

Female

Defense Mechanism

Instinctive

Feminism is my Realism

 

Because if I had been paid my 80 cents on the dollar

For every time I have been called

Bitch

Dyke

Ball breaker

Since I was 12 years old

I’d be in the damn 1%

 

Told my whole life

That I am

Too angry

Too emotional

Too loud

Too direct

Ask too many questions

Why-can’t-you-just- sit-quietly-like-a-lady-and-smile-more?

 

Gagged with guilt to keep the peace

Gaslighted

so others can maintain the precious status quo

 

I am Virus circulating in the Bloodstream

Feminism is my Realism

(Christine Ray)

Blood Into Ink #MeToo Writing Contest First Place: Kristiana Reed/To Blaze

To Blaze Kristiana Reed image

These women didn’t rescue voices

to watch you bow out

of this life and the next,

the weight of shame and scandal

sinking you to their knees

all bloodied and bruised.

 

These women didn’t raise hands,

two in subjugation

then balled fists in protest,

to read apologies

written in the faintest ink,

ghastly lit in camera flashes.

 

These women didn’t speak

then burn through

shattered rosy glasses,

to be painted over

as misshapen forms

smothered in misogyny.

 

These women didn’t march streets

paved by men

in debased gold,

to listen to your vitriol

and Viagra fuelled lies,

their bravery branded a weapon.

 

No.

 

These women were born into shivering hands

of mothers and fathers,

to blaze so brightly

the pigment in your glassy eyes

will vanish, before you stamp her

into the ground.

 

Into the earth which bore her forth.


Kristiana Reed juggles writing and teaching English; in both vocations she endeavours to remind people of their self worth and how dazzlingly beautiful the world can be.

You can read more of Kristiana’s writing at My Screaming Twenties

Silence Will No Longer Ring in My Ears- Christine Ray

I will not be silent

I will not maintain the peace

I will say the ugly words

out loud and I will not flinch

Murder

Rape

Incest

Stalking

Harassment

Discrimination

Domestic Violence

Mansplaining

Discounted simply because we are women

 

To find our voices as women

to speak our truth

is a revolutionary act

that says that your voice

her voice

their voices

my voice

Matter

Count

Have weight

Deserve to be heard

Are valid

 

If my refusal to be silent

Makes me a bitch

A shrew

A ball-breaker

Then I will be loudest damn badass bitch that I can be

 

Silence leaves us to blame ourselves in isolation

Silence benefits only those who have hurt us

Silence has been the noose around my neck

The soul ache of my pent-up screams of rage

Every 13th story window I have considered walking out of

 

How fucked up is that?!

 

© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved


Christine Ray writes for Brave and Reckless and is a member of Sudden Denouement.  She is also curator at Blood Into Ink and barista at Go Dog Go Cafe.  She is an aspiring badass.