Mutually Exclusive - A Loveletter from a Cynical Feminist

How can I focus

How can I think of anything

When all I want to do is think of you



the feel of you in a t-shirt

pressed against my chest

Holding me close

chin tucked into my shoulder

breathing into my hair

Shelter, a promise of protection

of life.


You don't need to worry about yourself. I'll protect you and care for you and provide for you





Am I a cynic or is there faint writing on the wall?




my spirit strains against the reins

flinging a strong head with snapping eyes

muscles bracing


stamping and snorting and trembling to be 





unencumbered by tracings of men


my bones and my joints and my lungs and my throat and my heart ache


for liberty

for the feeling of driving with the windows down in the pale smelling twilight of March

for the bracing air

the emancipation of the wind

the breeze filling me with white

with life


she calls me selfish

she actually calls me selfish

because I don't want to submit

because I don't feel I should have to

how can it be

how can it be

how can it be that I'm less of a person

how can it be that I'm less of a person and I can't make intelligent decisions

how can it be that I'm less of a person and I can't make intelligent decisions so I have to submit to the will of another

based on my gender?

how can that be?

my dad tells me it's equal

but you can read and write and vote and look men in the eyes and own property and get a divorce and play sports in a league

but you can get a degree and climb the corporate ladder

but you must submit to a husband's rule


We can lead other women, but we have to be careful no to take too much of the control from the men! We do have a propensity to nag, you know!


My drive and ideas are only the bug bites on the heels of the men?

The ones who are capable of real power?

Who are endowed with the right to have an opinion and exert it on others?


Why can't I be that way too? 

When male counterparts are




Why am I automatically









So you see the rub?

I am not selfish.

or nagging.

or bossy.

but the rationalized sexism in this world turned me into a cynic

I desperately want to feel you close to me.

I want the safety of your arms

hear me

I want them, but I don't need them.

I want to wake up and feel the soft cotton draped across your solid back.

I want to watch you fix your tie in the morning.

are you intent, focused, and perfectionistic like my dad? 

or will you have daydreams in your eyes?

I want you to use your degree

the same as I use mine



and with a purpose and pay as legitimate as mine.

and I want to come home and share the housework.


Please don't make me choose between you and my beliefs. 

I want to love you with all I am, and I want you to love me with all you are.

I want to respect your drive

your intelligence

your humor

your judgements

your shortcomings

your ideas

your talents

your strength

your dispassion like an equal. 


And I want you to respect mine.

Like an equal.



And who says they're mutually exclusive?

This poem is about: 
My family
Our world


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