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I performed this at the Exeter Reclaim the Night and was asked to make a copy of it. This was therefore recorded at the end of the night, and is probably a bit rubbish as I was KNACKERED from organising everything. Still, here it is.

Short Fuse:
Let me ask you this.
If I bend down, can you see my pants?
Now what makes you think you stand a chance
just cos my skirt is short?
Well so is my fuse
Anger my muse in this tiny town of
No-can-dos
Where if you shout fire people run to your aid
But if you shout rape the price is paid
in fame
and shame
and blame
Where your name is driven into the dust
along with your trust in the moment that thrust the light out of your eyes
Your demise won’t be mentioned in the local news
Because you choose to keep breathing
A hundred deaths in every breath and all they can say is
‘How short was your skirt?’
Like they can measure the hurt in a plunging neckline
or how much wine you were drinking.
‘Girl, what were you thinking?
Were you walking alone?
Well next time stay at home, like you did before with those other men…
how many was it again?’
And they’ll reel them off
Memories tainted
tainted
tainted
and recall how you fainted that night in the station,
drunk no doubt,
chicks these days, huh?
No, I’m talking about DICKS these days
and the power to choose how you use your body
so if I bend down now what do you see?
My choice, my right, my liberty
To act and to speak and to dress as I please
So keep your sleaze, your thoughtless shout
Cos I have NO doubt that a change must come
and as I stand on your stage
and speak my rage
I can see it’s already
begun.

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…if you’re sitting between two women, and they both say to you ‘feminism just doesn’t do it for me’, yelling ‘I’M SURROUNDED BY HEATHENS!’ doesn’t go down too well.

I guess some things you have to learn the hard way.

Everytime a woman says to me ‘I’m not a feminist, but…’, a little part of me dies.

Everytime a woman says to me ‘I don’t really do feminism’, a little part of me dies.

Everytime a woman says to me ‘Feminism is just manhating isn’t it, it’s not like they’ve done anything wrong’, a little part of me dies.

Everytime a woman says to me ‘oh but you’re just a humourless feminist’, a little part of me dies.

Everytime a woman says to me ‘yeah, I get feminism and everything, but I don’t really see the point’, a little part of me dies.

Everytime a woman says to me ‘why don’t they just call it humanism? THEN I’d agree’, a little part of me dies.

And yet somehow, through it all, a little part of me keeps on breathing, keeps on living, keeps on moving forward. Despite it all, that part of me never gives up.

You have to understand, sometimes it hurts. Sometimes you have to take something you love, and look again. Sometimes you have to destroy it, and sometimes it can feel like it’s destroying you. But in order to beat privilege, you have to acknowledge it. You have to see where you are lucky enough to be blind, you have to stop seeing the world in black and white and allow yourself to be stunned by the sudden harsh colours of the world.

This might be innocent to you, it might be nothing. But every time you watch a film which revolves around violence against women and you simply enjoy it, think again about how this could affect others. Everytime you see a film with silent female characters, or none whatsoever, just stop and think for a moment. Everytime you see a film with a token black person in it, or a film where the black guy is the butt of the jokes and ‘always the one to die first’, just think how that can affect other people. Everytime you see a film where everyone is middle class and heterosexual, acknowledge it.

I do not ask you to give up the pleasures in your life. I do not expect you to boycott film, I do not expect you to forgo humour. All I ask is that you look, and that you see. All I ask is that you acknowledge that yes, you ARE lucky, you ARE privileged. That something needs to be done.

I do not want to emasculate you, I do not want to scare you. I do not ‘need a man’, and I do not need to lighten up. What I need is for you to listen, just this once. The world is not as simple as you think it is. It’s not as kind as you think it is. It is time you woke up and looked around you. Things have to change.

and thought I’d share it with you 🙂 I wrote it late last year (when we had to write about ‘a perfect world) and then saved it in some obscure place on my laptop, which I have just discovered. I was pretty pleased with it, but now…myeah…not so sure. I think the whole ‘fate’ thing isn’t very me. But there we go, let me know what you think 🙂

Death beckons. The line that has drawn me through the mishmash of moments that make up my life grows shorter as I near my destination, reeling me in. I accept it now; accept the fate that we are all born into. Born to live, born to die; it doesn’t get any simpler than that. A sense of completion overwhelms me and the long-feared moment shines, in a way I could never have imagined. Suddenly everything is brighter – the bed, the desk, you above me – so bright it is blinding. Closing my eyes, I appreciate the darkness. I, who was always afraid of the shadows that follow, I who actively seek the sun, I embrace the blackness that engulfs me, threading it through my fingers, feeling it brush against my cheeks. This, I realise, this softness that is all I can see and touch, is death. And she is beautiful.

Now, only as her caress slowly tightens, I see the world in the way I have always dreamed of. I see the perfection that every being crawling the surface of this globe searches for, when every moment, every glance and touch and laugh and word suddenly seems to fit together, the final puzzle piece clawed from under the threadbare sofa at the last minute. My last minute, and yet it lasts a lifetime. And in that lifetime I see that all the striving, all the effort that filled every single second of my life; that was perfection.

It’s not the destination, hurtling towards me, that fills me with elation. It is the journey, the way that I did not even realise I travelled, every decision and revision fitting into place along the path set out for me. Every life, every journey in itself is a perfect world, however imperfect it may outwardly appear. Everyone has a path that they follow, a pre-planned route. Only plans don’t always work out, some of us like to take short-cuts, change plans at the last minute. Well, there’s always one.

I see all this, death circling around me, closing in and stepping back, anticipating my next movement.

Will you won’t you, will you won’t you, won’t you join the dance? She is singing, singing and circling, and my epiphany passes as the whispering fingers of death reach out once more for my hand. I have seen perfection. I have lived perfection. And now, as I begin to step in time, one step forward, two steps back, I have only the slightest twinge of sadness. To leave this is a big step, for what can possibly follow perfection?

And so we dance the dance of life, never certain of how it will end, making up the steps as we go along. Welcome to perfection, my friend. May I have this dance?

And on that note – adieu

Flickr Photos