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What is is to be a woman?
Depends to whom you speak.
We are defined by many a stereo type.
So many labels, from ‘bitch’ to ‘weak’.
The Girly Girl
Loves glitter and pink,
Cocktails and shoes.
Doing lunch
But too vacuous for political views.
Cute, pretty and sweet,
Carefully waxed and shaved.
Immaculately turned out
Always well behaved.
Flowers, cupcakes and jewellery
What girly could want more?
Well maybe perfume, a manicure
And cash to spend on clothes galore.
To be blonde is to be dizzy;
What a crock of shit.
Judged purely on aesthetics
Ignorance and derision that won’t quit.
The Feminist
Strident in her man-hating endeavours,
Burning her bra and chucking her razors.
Masculine, barefaced and plain,
Docs, dungarees and blazers.
Politically astute.
Fighting for equality for man and woman.
But listening to some opinions
We’re still considered a 2nd class human.
The (Yummy) Mummy
With either a rich husband to support her
Or enjoying the benefits of the State,
The SAHM’s life with her brood,
Benign TV and lattes must be great.
No stress of a ‘real’ job or financial contribution,
Not really independent.
This is not the 1950’s.
A housewife’s life is hardly resplendent.
Ah, but the working mother;
She feels guilty about dropping the ball.
What she complaining about?
She’s got what women want; she’s got it all!
Mothers are constantly under scrutiny
Regardless of what they do.
We’re all pretty much winging it
So keep your critique, thank you.
The Slut
Enjoys good sex and a good time,
The decisions made are hers.
Presumed to be promiscuous
Once the name calling occurs.
Short skirt and heels,
Banter that’s flirty
Does not automatically mean
She’s “up for it” or “dirty”.
1 lover or 20
or even a hundred more.
The number is irrelevent; she’s not
A tramp, slag or whore.
Now, none of the descriptions
sound remotely appealing.
Women are so often portrayed in a negative light,
The names and language used are highly revealing.
How about judgement then:
Too fat, too thin, too young, too old,
Too sexy, too frigid, too drunk, too nice,
Too bossy, too coorse, too emotional, too cold?
Too opinionated, too high maintenance,
Too head strong.
Too masculine, too feminine,
Hair too short or too long.
What is it to be a woman?
Are we so easily defined?
Such limited scope for being yourself,
Time to leave the confines behind.
We are all individuals, free from the mold
Of stereo type and prescription
And of doing what we’re told.
Thankfully us Gals are strong and
To the Patriarchy, we will not kow-tow;
Misogyny does not fly.
Let’s celebrate being a woman. Now!
(Maya) Angelou, (Gloria) Steinem and (Betty) White
Inspirational women.
(Nicola) Sturgeon, (Hillary) Clinton and (Anna) Wintour
Glass ceiling? Smashed by these women.
(Caitlin) Moran, (Ellen) DeGeneres and (Tina) Fey
Articulate and hilarious women.
Beyonce, (Lena) Dunham and (Emma) Watson
21st century women.
Independent, confident and smart;
Labels I will take.
Positive adjectives please;
Is it really so hard? For fuck’s sake!
To be a woman is:
To be yourself in all your glory.
This is your life.
This is your story.
A poem of mine I wrote for International Women’s Day a couple of years ago.

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