In my world, there are two types of men. The men whom I so admire and respect. These men, who see women as equal, women as adults with desires and dreams and hopes, with choices we are entitled to make. The real gentle-men. The men so deserving of a love of a woman.
And then, there are the men who have never seen most women as equals but only as chattels, to be used and policed, pushed around and ill-treated. Told to dress a certain way, behave a certain way. Boorish, ugly-souled, characterless men, emanating disrespect.
This poem is for the latter type of man.
“frankly. I am insulted.
don’t feed me all that Mother’s Day glitz. I don’t need the adulation if you don’t really trust me. one minute you preach to me how I must sacrifice all to raise my kids. how I am not doing a good enough job because I am not trying hard enough.
the next, you demand I find a way to pay my way, look a certain way, behave a certain way and not to expect handouts, I am not working hard enough at myself and my looks. but I gave up so much to try and raise my children. sacrifices that remain unpublicized because I love them. I love them and so I sacrificed.
but once in a while, I wonder. I wonder. what life would have been like if I had chosen differently and not been with you. been able to change my mind. postponed the children. to a time where I was more ready for them. to be a present mother. to be a happier person. for them. maybe had more resources to provide for them.
don’t leave me with the burden and the responsibilities. not when I cannot choose. when I cannot choose when. or how. or where. or with whom. if I am forced or pressured. give me a choice. don’t lock the door and throw away the key.
otherwise I am just a prisoner. a prisoner with lady parts. to produce. resentful. sad. angry.
maybe I am just a prisoner. to you, I am just a prisoner, with a womb.”
– Sue Gallagher