an open letter to all womxn from patriarchal oppression
is that the new spelling with an x? patriarchy here. how are you? I take it you are unhappy, unhealthy and uninspired due to the unwelcome circumstances you find yourselves in. I am well, all worldly things considered. admittedly I am more than a little perturbed by the recent global ‘feminist’ movements in the form of #sayhername, #metoo and #timesup, to name a few. it is this conundrum that causes me to write to you in order to share some of my present thoughts on the matter.
it is indeed difficult for me to pinpoint exactly when it began, but somewhere along life’s path, I made it my goal to own you, to diminish you, to control you. and in so doing I created narratives which became sciences which explained logically why you are weaker than men and need to be kept in a binarily constructed gender category of ‘woman’, with which anything that is associated becomes automatically inferior to me. at some point, it became more important for me to own the land, to own the water, to own the people, than for me to take the lifetimes it takes to investigate and understand who I am in this complex, interwoven, sacred geometry of life.
through my lack of self-knowledge, I have constructed systems of erasure, founded in hate, that perpetuate themselves through the continued rape of you and the earth. I have invaded countries, I have been the catalyst of unceasing wars, and I have sold your peoples cruel ideas based on gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, beauty and other such socially constructed norms which only serve my egocentric hegemony. all the while doing this as I simultaneously steal your labour, and unravel the precious fibres of your cultures quilted over centuries by your foremothers.
I have refused to share the earth’s resources with you, in my process of rupturing, dishonouring and destroying that which is most sacred. I have enabled the ongoing devastation of the climate. I have committed crimes against your human right to clean air, against your human right to freshwater, against your human right to peace and safety, against your human right to determine what happens in and around your body, against your human right to resist and to insist on organising yourselves in order to develop economic independence and strength.
I have refused to see you through multiple nuanced lenses, insisting that in order for you to be considered ‘woman’, you must be homogenous, cisgendered, middle-class, able-bodied and white.
it is my greed, womxn. it is my greed that propels me to behave like this. how do I learn how to share?
it is my fear that propels me to behave like this. how do I learn to not be afraid of the unknown?
it is my hate that propels me to behave like this.
how do I learn to truly love and to love that which I do not fully understand?
it is my insatiable hunger for power to fill the gaping hole I feel in my soul that propels me to behave like this.
how do I achieve inner strength?
how do I achieve inner peace?
as I reflect upon where my actions have taken the global community and the harm that I have caused, I realise just how much of me there is, polluting all the space that exists. there is so much of me proliferating in the structures and the laws and the policies and the attitudes. there is so much of me governing trade agreements and migration, policing, education and social welfare. there is so much of me sewn into the fabric of your every day; there are societal conditionings masquerading as cultural norms. I have succeeded in propagating patriarchal systems and patriarchal people, patriarchal people and patriarchal systems. I am everywhere and in everything. I am everywhere and in everything.
as are you, womxn!
you are also everywhere and in everything. I have tried. believe me I have tried to erase you but it is impossible.
you are everywhere and in everything and now I must admit that change has come!
these systems I have created on your backs and through your blood, nourished by your tears and swea,t must change! I know that. I know that you will not rest until change comes. I know that you will continue fighting for your daughters and sons and those who refuse my bigoted binaries. I know that.
I know that you will not sit by quietly as I continue to poison the water and cut down all the trees and pass labour laws that replicate a transatlantic slave system in modern attire. I know that. I know that you will not rest.
I know that you will not allow me to continue to ignore, shame, erase, demonise, abuse, traffic and enslave black, indigenous, poc, trans, queer, disabled, poor, immigrant womxn. I know that.
I know you will no longer be an accomplice to my project of annihilation, in the name of profit and progress. I know that.
because you choose over and over and over again to resist, to insist, to create, to heal and to love, because you do that, my children have a chance at redemption.
excerpt from d’bi.young anitafrika’s book ‘dubbin poetry.’