in the wake of emma watson’s very epic feminism speech, i’ve been struck by some of the reactions of dissenters. namely i’ve been interested in the perception of some (maybe internet trolls, maybe not) that a legitimate and/or effective way to reduce the power of her presentation, which was undoubtedly based on strong interior convictions, would be to publicly display private photos of her exterior. what i find sad about this type of threat (among other things) is the position clearly held by these individuals that the exposure of a woman’s body would be enough to defame her character and devalue her beliefs - beliefs that are shared by more bodies than one. pondering this as i fell asleep i had a dream in which myself and many of the women in my life were cookies on a baking sheet freshly removed from the oven, being picked up and bitten into one after the other. I think maybe my sleepy brain was creating some kind of very odd metaphor. cookies are an empty food: they do not portend any interior nutritional value, but are rather cherished for their sensory appeal - for being pretty and tasty. as a result of this very odd dream, i wrote a very odd poem, about the heartaches a cookie - and a woman - may experience over the course of her life.
roll, go, fast, slow
up and down, back and forth,
side to side, flip and repeat
dust with flour, knead out the knots,
lick the sugar from the tips of your fingers,
lay me down and flatten me out, smooth the wrinkles
because it’s the surface that counts.
what’s underneath must be uniform, melded,
blended with no lumps or bumps.
no one wants a sweet nibble or a salty corner, a powdery bubble…
they want consistency, congruency, routine viscosity.
they want me to be pretty vanilla, not spicy,
not twisty or turny or out of the ordinary.
they want what they expect.
no distinguishing factors must come from within,
external appearance is identity.
a sparkle here, a dash of colour there,
but keep it tasteful.
my outside will be judged,
they will ooh, ah,
isn’t she cute.
and then with one crisp crunch of bicuspids,
I will be open, exposed,
the calories will crumble to the floor,
then the jaws will snap
and I will be gone.
all that will remain will be
the picture on your screen
and a sprinkle on the floor.