because i came in today

and saw that The Guardian thinks it is ok to frame a discussion of

International Women’s Day

around the right to wear a skirt

and I am really


when there is still topless page 3

and women are still called names in the street

and ‘asking for it’


being violent attack, stitches and broken bones and maybe death

when maybe

going home

is more dangerous than walking the streets

and women earn less than men

and women get less pension if they stayed at home to raise their kids

but are to blame for the kids running riot

if they don’t

and women are not to have abortions

but not to need contraception or childcare

but not to stay home and look after their children or their parents or their partners

didn’t that just go in a circle?

and women are bitches who nag

or whores who seduce

or acting like your mother, your teacher, your nurse

anyone except someone

who has been raised to ask

quietly and confidently

for what they want

and notice what they are offered

and calmly negotiate what works

round men

who have been told they are weak if they listen to a woman

hen-pecked or led by the nose

(the nose standing as we know for something else)

because men are told they will be judged on their sexual prowess, their fertility,

and their control of their woman, their family

and they are supposed to swagger more,

to get their respect, to get their due

they are supposed to demand more, to threaten, to fight, to die,


except asking,

like someone who has been raised to ask

quietly and confidently

for what they want,

notice what they are offered and negotiate what works

as women and men are forced out of the old ways


ways that are not new

didn’t that just go in a circle?

and all the time the sandpaper on open wounds

the grit in the works

the whipping up of anger and blame between the powerless

stops the coming together of people

to work together, to become powerful,

to ask calmly for systems of government that respect our work,

our efforts, our contributions

and share benefits between all,

not give profits to a few who have forgotten they are human

or maybe, actually, aren’t human, but are corp-orations,

embodi-ments of economic power;

to notice what we are offered

and negotiate for what works

for the greatest number, not the super rich 1% or the landed 10%

or the inhuman business model

but a planet full of people who would have plenty

if we shared

because i am that woman

who wants to yell: STOP!

we are not each other’s enemies

we are picking up the pieces after a cocoon got ripped,

a mountain broke and a glacier melted and the world flooded

and the foragers ran out of game

and the wandering life of bounty


changed utterly

to a life of growing and grinding

and where people had been  different but the same,

strong in arms or strong in legs or strong in wits or strong in memory,

and not everyone could survive but there was no malice;

to a world where ownership of more than the tools in your hands became possible

where land became what you fought for, not what ran over it, water or game or green vines

but the land itself

and taking land is stealing from everyone, because so little is left

and as we build closer and closer and crowd like rats

we turn and fight and bite

and forget

we are family

we all have genes of people who ran the savannah

and watched the prairie grass ripple like waves

and some of us sang when the sun tipped the stone to say

spring is coming

and we knew

we knew to our bones

that we needed each other

not just the family, not just the clan

but the far peoples we never met

but who sent their spices

and to whom we sent our flints

and we all carved bones and we all told stories

and we all protected a pregnant woman, we all protected a child

we loved the boys, we loved the girls

we loved the both-ways as the new shaman-to-be

because i am that woman who feels the earth turning

and the clouds gathering

and because my hair is turning grey and i am entering awareness of wisdom

by simply living that long and surviving  so much

and i have seen such strangeness

not much shocks me

but a lot saddens me

and then i see

The Guardian wants to talk about skirts

on International Women’s Day


i am ANGRY