What is so holy about the blood from a womb?
And am I then, a non-woman, an un-woman? For tabletting these days away with modern medicine we are meant to feel guilty about, because Christianity, because feminized fish?
Because I wear my hair short, never wear a dress flowing red or black, because I do not limit women to cis white sock robots, because I include my trans sisters and my enby siblings, because the patriarchy is delighted when we police each other’s clotted tampons.
When we accidently leave out those who have had hysterectomies over hysteria of a battered woman who needs a shelter, who was never a man in the first place.
All humans bleed. Some more than your soaked gusset, your baby-home-nest clear out. Your curse does not give you the right to cast legislation over others.
You are a great big girl’s blouse.
This is you.
You are fiddly collars, you are pearl-shaped, impossible to handle buttons, you are flowery prints, or patterns of tiny embroidered kittens. Your cuffs float in soup.
You are restricted from running, from stretching, from growing, from being taken seriously, from working beyond middle management. You are ten per cent more expensive. You are baby sick on the shoulder. You are stained with orange squash. Whether crumpled or ironed you are still not fit to be seen.
You are more to choose from, but you only come in sizes to fit washboard stomachs (big is a deceptive descriptor). You are designed for the male gaze. You are ironed – to within an inch of your life. You are static and starched. You are floaty and flimsy.
You are tied at the back.
You know I try not to think about male privilege all the time…
Right, now everyone else has clicked off this post – it’s just – OK, I admit that I have never learned to play an instrument. I play oboe, but that doesn’t translate into a folk session environment. I’m lucky to have several people in my life who play the guitar for me – and I’m grateful for each and every one of them.
But without them, I can’t sing at a session. The men usually have huge voices, and can sing away. Folk join in, or listen, or sometimes they don’t, but it doesn’t matter – because they can be heard.
It doesn’t often happen that I’m at a session without anyone to play for me. But when it does, I’m left feeling less-than. Because my voice, literally can’t be heard.