Silence Speak Please


Every time I open my mouth

You rip out my womb a little further

I become as barren

As a November Sunday afternoon

My words severed

By your blade of silence

Your gaze reduces woman

To form of a symbol

Like a child bride

Groomed to perform

Acts against her nature

Or a virgin suicide

Wrought

By the penetrating power

Of men’s inequitable ideology

Tied to our conjugal bed

Your fist of masculinity

P

L

U

N

G

E

S

Into the clenched behind

Of my heart unbound

But, no one hears my cries

For my mouth is gagged

And my tears are invisible

To all other empirical, “I’s”

Thus, I bleed for womankind

For Magdalene, Christ’s castigated lover

For Malala

Awarded a prize

For surviving

Her own attempted homicide

-A trophy voice

Which, of course

She possessed, anyway

I bleed and plead

But no one sees or hears me

For like a maiden aunt

I have been castrated by mankind

Left to rot on the shelf

With the other unconsumed

Unconsummated perishables

Past my sell by date

Putrefying with middle-age

And disconnected femininity

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Was Virginia Woolf a Feminist?


In the year 2013, a hundred years after her birth, Virginia Woolf remains one of the most misunderstood and influential writers in the British canonical tradition. Generations have deconstructed her essays and novels, in an attempt to better understand her feminist aesthetics and many have questioned the ambiguity of the ideology encoded in her work.
For me, her feminist credentials are not explicit in her texts, but are affirmed in the recorded details of her life. Her involvement in the suffrage movement, estrangement from the traditional heterosexual archetype and frequent retreats into mental distress, highlight her rejection of patriarchal authority. One could argue, however, that more interesting than her endorsement of feminist ideas is an exploration of the extent to which her feminism was a conscious political decision to challenge the prevailing social (patriarchal) order. Was her feminism really given to textual primacy of her aestheticism? Arguably, it is the aesthetics of her texts which live on, but Woolf’s feminism which makes her seem more real.