Equal 

Image origin unknown

What is it you see in a woman?

Maybe it’s her curves 

These lines we’ve been trying 

To iron out 

Through culture 

For centuries 

Equal Means Equal

But we’re not equal image origin unknown 

This isn’t a poem about why I’m a feminist 

Or how great it is that I’m a guy 

Or what it’s like in my experience 

This 

This is a poem 

About my wife …

The fact that even after all this time …

She’s not equal to me 

She starts out getting paid less than me for the same job

How can she ever get ahead?

She is not protected by our Constitution

Her freedom and equality 

Can be altered or repealed 

In a day

Women’s rights are human rights 

I read a story about a woman in another country fighting for her right to know her own body to know how to orgasm 

Men didn’t learn about their wives bodies and they really didn’t care whether they ever had pleasure or not. 

It’s not too far different here 

We’ve come all this way 

And we think we know a lot 

But we really only know 

A lot about what our culture 

Believes about things 

Just in the 90s we recognized marital rape as rape 

And yes- we don’t consider women as property on our papers anymore 

But we still want them to be homemakers 

Or daughters and mothers 

Trophy wives 

Making our sons look good 

A child has to be raped before it can have control of its own body 

This is decided by business men in Washington 

Contraceptives shouldn’t be covered by insurance because women shouldn’t enjoy sex

If they do have sex they should get pregnant

Forced birth 

This is decided by men in Washington 

When she is raped 

They get off free 

Because boys will be boys 

And they can run with a football 

And they still have a whole life to live-let’s not ruin it

Forget that her body was violated 

Her safe space 

Her mind 

Her temple 

The years of nightmares 

I can sue over spilled coffee 

But women can be raped and no one bats an eye….

We have a problem 

When we condemn women for reading works of fiction 

That have fake content 

And put men in power who are real 

And damaging 

And can alter their lives,safety and experience in society

I will say again 

I want a world 

Where my wife can live 

With peace of mind 

I want her to be safe 

I want her to be as free as me 

To be able to reach for whatever she dreams 

Women’s rights are human rights 

Why are we still fighting this battle? 

Maybe we’re just trying to iron out the curves

I think I want to write about you

I think I can forget all the rest 

I’m sorry 

I’m sorry we didn’t fight harder 

I’m sorry we’re still fighting for this 

We’ve come too far to go backwards 

I want – when I’m gone – for you to be able to live well. 

And if we should have a daughter 

I want her to be able to do all the same things our son would do. Without question. Even in her mothers high heels. 

-Ethan 

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