This performance text was written a few years ago. It is one of my favorite pieces. The first section is read as a lullaby to a young girl. The second portion is read as a reporter. The piece remarks on how views of women’s virtue, worth or goodness are fed to us as propognada to control us, but can betaken away or questioned at any timein order to protect masculinity.
Little girls hate yourselves and all other women for being born female.
Your emotion makes you inferior.
Trusting your intuition makes you weak.
Sleep peacefully tonight knowing that you will never ever quite be …enough.
You’ll have a mate that will never love you as much as he loves his boys.
His homoerotic utopia is far more rewarding than anything he could feel with you.
He has been taught to have no respect for women.
The culture that feeds him reinforces that ideal in his religion,
in his educational system,
and in all the media information he consumes.
Don’t try to run away.
Where will you go?
Its inevitable you’ll fall for a man who has never been held accountable for his actions and feelings.
One that thinks the world owes him something.
And that he is free to take out his frustrations on you.
Banging, stabbing, hitting, beating up your womb until he figures out what that something is.
If you’re lucky you’ll get a pet name like “wifey” or “main bitch”.
He might have sex with those other girls but he only loves you.
He’ll look to you to fulfill the roles of wife and mother whether or not children are present.
Forget about all that self-love crap and get yourself a ring girl.
Many of your friends won’t be so lucky. They will grow old alone.
BUT you can say to world with pride that you got a man that takes care of his responsibilities. He keeps a job and comes home at night, well eventually.
And that should be just enough to keep you smiling for years and years to come.
In 5…4…3…2…1… you’re on
Good afternoon. I am reporting to you live from the Kobe Bryant…Mike Tyson…Robert Kelly community support rally? I apologize, I’m not sure who the “Black Community” has been asked to come together and support this afternoon. All we know is that a man with a very large amount of money and therefore very large amount of power wants us to overlook a major felony or other minor male indiscretion committed against a woman such as: sexual assault, abuse, stalking, intimidation, restraint, or harassment.
Today’s rally is being led by a large jewel encrusted man in a candy hued suit. From this distance he appears to be, a pimp, a rapper, a preacher, or possibly even a candidate for the 2008 Democratic Party.
Until today while Mr. So and So, as the unidentified celebrity will now be referred, continues to avoid the press and live a somewhat regular life; the alleged victim has been fired from her job. Supervisors claim that her negative publicity has affected their business. She’s also had to vacate her apartment, as the swarms of reporters have made it impossible to secure her privacy or safety.
Pardon me one second ladies and gentlemen…
I’ve just been informed that angry mobs are on stand by to send hate mail and plaster the Internet with the alleged victim’s personal information. One website, www.shewantedit.com, has received several thousand hits after being up and running for only two days. The website uses the alleged victim’s photograph with the caption, “you know she wanted it” in large flashing letters. The website also includes pornographic images of women in submissive positions and links to a variety of other adult websites.
The general public, with the exception of a few lesbians a hand full of feminists and some dead Latina’s grandmother, have sided with Mr. So and So. Popular opinion is that Mr. So and So, quote “seems innocent” and “looks sorry.” In response to recent events, one particularly concerned citizen states “why Mr. So and So need to take some pussy from somebody? He got so much money, bitches is trippin over theyselves to get in his face. Hell push come to shove he can buy the pussy before he gotta rape somebody.”
Rest easy tonight America, our paternalistic oppressive systems are indeed intact.
Maleness still equals power.
Sexism continues to be internalized.
Goodnight and God Bless.
Cynthia C Harris