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Hi :

Wondering if I can submit a poem written by a powerful sister El Jones: Since it is Poetry Thursday. Thank you and keep up the good work!

Robyn

El Jones: Ain’t I a Woman? For Caster Semenya

Ain’t I a Woman? For Caster Semenya
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Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 10:11pm
Little sister, did they say you weren’t right from the time you were five or six
Did you get so fast running away from the kids who picked on you
Did they throw sticks and spit on you
Did you feel sick to your stomach every morning before school
Til you figured out how quick those legs could carry you
Round the corner, through the lot, up the hill and kick it into home
And now they want to check your chromosomes
Little sister with your high cheekbones and cornrows
You should have been born slow
Don’t you know that black women should always come in second
Or last. The only fast black girls they love are the ones who stick out their ass
If you were a flat chested blond model on the runway in Rome
They would say you were the second coming of Twiggy
But you are just a nigger girl so they say your lack of curves
Makes you scientifically getting what you deserve
The IOC says this South African bitch must have some nerve
Thinking she can beat those nice white girls down the straightaway.
Because those playground bullies are still on the track kid
They’re ready to tear you down because they don’t think you’re attractive
Your strong black body is just too active
I guess all that time you should have practiced waxing
Now they’re trying to say you’re just a man passing.
Because you have been passing them in this race
And little black girl you forgot your place
And they say that this has nothing to do with race
They had a 500 year head start but how dare you catch them.
And they have been attacking black women on this basis since the slave ships
They have said we were too insatiable
We are not real women which makes us rapable
We have committed the sin of being too capable
And now they want to have you labeled and disgraced.
And of course they want proof. You are Sojourner Truth
Standing and saying Aint I a Woman. You are a daughter of apartheid
You are not Zola Budd you are African blood
You are the Hottentot Venus exhibited for her soft black bottom
And sodomized in the name of anthropological progress
You are Harriet Tubman stacking those bales of cotton
They said she was strong like a monster
Oh how could she be a real woman at work in the hot sun
You are her packing that shotgun
I see you planning your escape
In lap after lap while young girls like you give lap dances
Because they only know being objectified by male glances
You are Michelle Obama who still gets called an ape
For having muscular arms that held her babies
Because like you she thinks she can be the first lady
You are Serena Williams and the gossip over her shape
And you are thick thighs and big shoulders and small waist
You are the Dove Real Beauty campaign
That ironically claims that real beauty is dove coloured white
And you are overnight bleaching cream
And back home in South Africa women thought lesbians
Are correctively raped by roaming male gangs
And all they can do to protect themselves is run.
And the authorities say there’s nothing to be done
They can’t police our neighbourhoods to keep us safe
But they can police your body to keep you in your place
And I know you thought winning could be the answer
To life down here on the ladder’s last rung
Until they called you a man for daring to break that tape.
But you are not the first black woman they said was unnatural
They can’t catch you but little sister you are not the first woman of colour they have chased
With their scalpels and exams
You are the womb pulled from the body of the captive slave under surgical lamps
You are the experimental vaccine administered in the refugee camps
Because black women are dispensable.
You are the 10 year old black girl’s menstrual cramps
Who developed too early so it must have been consensual
You are 15 is an adult when it comes to being sentenced
You are the women it’s ok to rape to keep white women on their pedestal
And so those European girls in 5th place say make the doctors check her genitals
But little sister you are not a percentage of testosterone
You are high cheekbones and cornrows
You are Marion Jones
You are the erotic, the exotic, because we all know black women want it
This is all your fault for being out on the track flaunting it
You are not Nike’s goddess of victory
To them you are just a gender mystery
You are the intersection of racism and misogyny
You are not the swoosh the eternal flame the three stripes
The five rings the laurel wreath you are not faster higher stronger
You are not the Olympic prize
They want to know what you hide between your thighs
You have been dehumanized but Ain’t you a woman?
And if you ain’t a woman, am I?

Written about 10 months ago •

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