February 13, 2008

Hump Day Poetry: Eve Ensler

Posted in Feminism, Poetry at 9:05 pm by The Lizard Queen

I’m reposting this in honor of V-Day (which is often but not only recognized on February 14th); I’m not sure if it fully counts as a poem, but it’s close enough to suit my purposes here. 🙂

My Short Skirt
(from The Vagina Monologues)

My short skirt
is not an invitation
a provocation
an indication
that I want it
or give it
or that I hook

My short skirt
is not begging for it
it does not want you
to rip it off me
or pull it down.

My short skirt
is not a legal reason
for raping me
although it has been before
it will not hold up
in the new court.

My short skirt, believe it or not
has nothing to do with you.

My short skirt
is about discovering
the power of my lower calves
about cool autumn air traveling
up my inner thighs
about allowing everything I see
or pass or feel to live inside.

My short skirt is not proof
that I am stupid
or undecided
or a malleable little girl.

My short skirt is my defiance
I will not let you make me afraid
My short skirt is not showing off
this is who I am
before you made me cover it
or tone it down.
Get used to it.

My short skirt is happiness
I can feel myself on the ground.
I am here. I am hot.

My short skirt is a liberation
flag in the women’s army
I declare these streets, any streets
my vagina’s country.

My short skirt
is turquoise water
with swimming colored fish
a summery festival
in the starry dark
a bird calling
a train arriving in a foreign town
my short skirt is a wild spin
a full breath
a tango dip
my short skirt is
initiation
appreciation
excitation.

But mainly my short skirt
and everything under it
is Mine.
Mine.
Mine.

—Eve Ensler, 2001

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4 Comments »

  1. gye nyame said,

    I get a shiver every time I read this poem –
    thank you for posting it on this (very appropriate) day.

  2. Scott Thong said,

    On the first four stanzas…

    I fully support the right of women to wear whatever they want, and fully support the prosecution of rapists who blame it on ‘the way she was acting’. Particularly when 6-month olds, 80-year olds and burqa-clad women are also raped.

    But pragmatically, I wouldn’t walk through Central Park at night without carrying a well-displayed personal firearm. It’s just common sense.

    If I am armed only with a gold watch and $2000 Apple notebook and explore a crime-infested area at midnight and get mugged… Well it might not be me in the wrong, and it definitely does not mean I want to be mugged, but I certainly contributed to my becoming a victim.

  3. […] should not have to cover up my body because a man might happen to like it. My short skirt is not provocation for a man to rape me: no matter what I wear, my body is still my own, and […]

  4. […] should not have to cover up my body because a man might happen to like it. My short skirt is not provocation for a man to rape me: no matter what I wear, my body is still my own, and […]


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