spoken word poetry feminism

1. Be the type of person you would love to meet. Crack dorky jokes. Smile at little kids. Do something generous just out of the genuineness of your heart. Talk about your passions, your goals and even your deepest fears; you never know someone worth it could be listening.
2. Be honest. Even if it takes away every last breath out of you and you feel like you would rather chew on needles than say what’s in your heart, tell the truth. Especially if it hurts, because trust me, you will feel so much lighter.
3. You are you and I am me and that is okay. The grass always looks greener on the other side, but in the wise words of Big Sean, “it’s greener where you water it.” Stop trying so hard to find flaws in your physicality and focus on your brighter aspects. That big mole on your nose? That makes you, YOU. The way you bite your lower lip when you’re nervous? That makes you, YOU. The books you read, the songs that make you cry, the things you find attractive in someone else; all these make you, YOU. And there is no one else like YOU. And that is okay.
4. Choose happiness. I’m sure you’ve heard before that happiness is not a destination. Maybe it isn’t. Or maybe it is. Either way, if you choose to be happy during your journey, your destination will be so much happier and full of love that you’ve collected along the way. Although it’s not such a bad thing to be sad sometimes. Don’t repress your tears. Let them flow. And after you’re done, choose to be happy for what’s yet to come. Try not to cry for the same reason again.
5. Stop and look up at the sky. This world is getting faster and changing rapidly every millisecond. It’s okay if you feel like you’re behind. It’s not a competition; stop trying so hard to catch up. You’re breezing past momentary blessings because you’re too busy searching for temporary satisfaction. Take a break sometimes and let the universe pull you in into her vast arms. That’s a billion year old hug and you better appreciate it from time to time.
6. Stop destroying yourself. I know life sucks and people aren’t who they claim to be, but that’s not your fault. A moment of destruction can hinder you for years. You are as beautiful as the day the galaxies came together to produce this beautiful world we live in and nothing and no one can compare to that. If you want to destroy anything, destroy the old you. And replace it with a fresh, loving, kind bundle of ethereal beauty that is the new you.

What have you learnt from 2017?

—  6 things i learnt from 2017
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Come thru sis! ✊🏽

POCKET-SIZED FEMINISM

The only other girl at the party
is ranting about feminism. The audience:
a sea of rape jokes and snapbacks
and styrofoam cups and me. They gawk
at her mouth like it is a drain
clogged with too many opinions.
I shoot her an empathetic glance
and say nothing. This house is for
wallpaper women. What good
is wallpaper that speaks?
I want to stand up, but if I do,
whose coffee table silence
will these boys rest their feet on?
I want to stand up, but if I do,
what if someone takes my spot?
I want to stand up, but if I do,
what if everyone notices I’ve been
sitting this whole time? I am guilty
of keeping my feminism in my pocket
until it is convenient not to, like at poetry
slams or my women’s studies class.
There are days I want people to like me
more than I want to change the world.
There are days I forget we had to invent
nail polish to change color in drugged
drinks and apps to virtually walk us home
at night and mace disguised as lipstick.
Once, I told a boy I was powerful
and he told me to mind my own business.
Once, a boy accused me of practicing
misandry. You think you can take
over the world?
And I said No,
I just want to see it.
I just need
to know it is there for someone.
Once, my dad informed me sexism
is dead and reminded me to always
carry pepper spray in the same breath.
We accept this state of constant fear
as just another part of being a girl.
We text each other when we get home
safe and it does not occur to us that our
guy friends do not have to do the same.
You could saw a woman in half
and it would be called a magic trick.
That’s why you invited us here,
isn’t it? Because there is no show
without a beautiful assistant?
We are surrounded by boys who hang up
our naked posters and fantasize
about choking us and watch movies
we get murdered in. We are the daughters
of men who warned us about the news
and the missing girls on the milk carton
and the sharp edge of the world.
They begged us to be careful. To be safe.
Then told our brothers to go out and play.
—  POCKET-SIZED FEMINISM, by Blythe Baird
you don’t just magically wake up one day and love yourself. it’s a constant battle against your ‘flaws’ and 'what-would-they-think’ and 'i’m-not-good-pretty-smart-funny-enough’. it’s getting yourself out of bed everyday and whispering to yourself “you can do it.” then letting that whisper turn into a solid “i am enough”. then singing powerful self-empowering cheesy pop songs at the top of your lungs to the mirror. then slowly but surely accepting that you are not perfect, and realising that you are not meant to be perfect; no one is, and that is okay.
—  this is how you love yourself
Promises
Reyna Biddy
Promises

If you can’t remember the ‘forevers’ you’ve placed in me..

look at me. look at the woman you’ve made me.

you can’t abandon the home you’ve made in me.

look me in my eyes, and promise me you don’t crave me.

let me know if i’m crazy.

Once, my dad informed me sexism
is dead and reminded me to always
carry pepper spray in the same breath.
We accept this state of constant fear
as just another part of being a girl.
We text each other when we get home
safe and it does not occur to us that our
guy friends do not have to do the same.
You could saw a woman in half
and it would be called a magic trick.
That’s why you invited us here,
isn’t it? Because there is no show
without a beautiful assistant?
We are surrounded by boys who hang up
our naked posters and fantasize
about choking us and watch movies
we get murdered in. We are the daughters
of men who warned us about the news
and the missing girls on the milk carton
and the sharp edge of the world.
They begged us to be careful. To be safe.
Then told our brothers to go out and play.
—  – POCKET-SIZED FEMINISM, by Blythe Baird

To be a woman,
She constantly bathes in gravel,
and is asked to lie
that it feels like coating the skin
with milk and honey.


To be a woman,
She always lays on a bed of thorns,
and she is asked
to deem it as the equivalent
of laying on cotton.


To be a woman,
She learns the skill of halvening herself.
because Earth forbid,
this world does not hold enough room
for every woman to be whole.

— 

Acquelline.K

To Be A Woman. (Revised Version)

You call me angry, you men who get into bar fights over football. Men who beat your wives when she don’t fry the chicken right. You men who say I talk too loud, who say that my mouth has no business looking like a shotgun. You don’t know anger until you’ve seen an ocean wash up a body, spill blood and all, you don’t know anger until you’re six feet deep in every man’s catcall. 5 million mouths making a mockery of everything God gave me. Asking for a sip of my holy, when a man disrespects me I step outside myself, I give him my salt. Which is to say I season my meat, I prepare a feast. Have you ever seen an ocean clean its plate? When a man tells me I’m unholy of everything except my sins, I say I am an ocean and he is the desert. He is the rain dance, which is to say: praise me. Which is to say, God created the oceans on the third day and man on the 6th. Which is to say, I was worthy before God even made you.
—  Crystal Valentine - Tempest
10 Reasons Why You Will Call Me Woman OR Why Female Is Some Whack Shit

One.
Female refers to any species coded XX in their chromosomes capable of populating this fine earth.
Newsflash: I am not my womb.
I don’t birth babies to your benefit.
I am more than a vagina, a set of breasts, thick thighs and a fat ass.
This body is not for sale and damn sure not for your consumption.

Two.
A Female could be a cow.
Or a cat.
Or a fox.
Or a fucking blue whale.
There is a word for humans of the feminine persuasion.
Please tell me why y’all so set against using it?

Three.
FEMALE strips me of my humanity.
Reduces me to object fit for your labor.
But not entitled to the same inalienable rights as you
Malcolm did say the most disrespected person in America is the Black woman.
We are now coming to collect back rent from the years of you living on ours.

Four.
We don’t ever hear y’all say [insert any race other than Black here] females.
You love your Kylie Jenners, JLo’s and foreign women
But let a Black girl speak up and she too loud
She too ghetto
She too angry
Her skin too dark and hair too nappy
I guess we all jiggaboos now

Five.
Because y’all never say that shit in a positive light.
I mean NEVER.
#FemalesBeLike
#TheseFemales
If you wanna call me bitch, I’d rather you call me bitch.
Don’t try to be politically correct now nigga!

Six.
We don’t call y’all “males”
Grammatically speaking,
That shit sound like an abomination rolling of the tongue
And I promise you I spit nothing but inferno

Seven.
Female implies sex and gender are the same.
Repeat after me: SEX AND GENDER ARE NOT THE SAME.
You cannot conflate a social construct to biological basis.
Obey the spectrum and stay in ya lane.

Eight.
FEMALE is not inclusive to trans, intersex, non-binary or any other identity apart of the aforementioned spectrum.
KEEP YOUR PRIVILEGE IN CHECK.

Nine.
I don’t give a damn how comfortable calling me female makes you feel.
This isn’t about you.
This is about the inherent violence laced in your language.
This is about dog whistle politics.
This is about equity and intersectional feminism.

Ten.
Allow me to draw you to the Black Feminist Thesaurus of Where You Had Me Fucked Up
Woman.
Part of speech: noun
Human.
May or may not be female.
Magician.
Motherfucking Goddess.

Respect
My
Title

Address me the way I demand to be addressed
Or keep your words behind those dusty ass lips, boy.

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“Is silence not an act of violence, too?" 

Presenting the short film adaptation of my poem: POCKET-SIZED FEMINISM.

Poem written by Blythe Baird. Film directed by Valerie Schenkman. © 2017.  

This poem first appeared on Button Poetry. This short film first appeared on MotionPoems. This film is the winner of the 2017 GLAMOUR magazine / GirlGaze #NewView Film Competition. This film was shot at the Women’s March in Washington D.C.