modern woman?

Of all the phrases and terms I have come to know, this has remained the single most cunning one for even after a little over a year of contemplation and research it eludes me swiftly.

Further upsetting me because it is a term I pride my entire life’s existence on. But how could I be a modern woman if I don’t even know what pertains to it?

My trials with this particular definition hail not from ignorance of its substance rather from it indeterminate essential.

Let’s face it we have all at one time or the other, in flesh or by reputation encountered a modern woman of sorts, but what about all these different modern women remains the same? What ties the Rihanna to Michelle to Amanpour?

It has been suggested that a simple definition of the component parts of the term could yield some results so let us get to it. Modern which loosely means a new phenomenon or a new perspective on an old phenomenon tantamount to describing anything and everything that is not encompassed in the traditions of old, and well a woman is basically a female human being last I checked. Therefore using this approach a modern woman should either be the mannerisms of a woman who does not conform to traditions of old at any one point, fair enough, right?

The main problem with this though is that the term being defined in this way lends itself only if we speak of our current times which excludes all ‘modern women’ of the past, who though may not have been labelled as such did very well exist, and therein lies the next hurdle it appears we tend towards a paradox which is never a good way to define anything without the language’s get out of jail free card, poetic license. Lastly it also includes non-modern women because at certain times some traditions will in fact suppress women and therefore the ‘modern women’ of that era will be anti-feminist.

So it goes to show that this is just another phrase whose sum of its part is indeed lesser than its whole.

Another approach is the feminist one, whereby the eternal fight of male versus female is at play. Which is to say that the essential in a modern woman is that she aspires to equate to the male who has been favored since time immemorial, this is not half bad. Modern womanhood has always bore a love for gender equity and the comparison between conditions of the male vis a vis the female have served as an effective way to see how much feminism has grown and spread. The issue here becomes a circular one, in a bid for the girl to catch up with the boy she ends up having to ride on another boy’s back.

This definition kills the independence of women because then modern women cannot exist without men to catch up to therefore leaving them eternal rats in the rat wheel, to run forever but never to catch up which as a matter of principle I disagree with. I am of the opinion that a modern woman can exist in a non-male context because these suppressive mentalities fought by modern women do exist and even thrive without the involvement of men. Therefore again we add to our repertoire of what appertains to a modern woman but not what is essential to her.

Then comes the Madonna approach, the rebel of establishment. That the modern woman is Madonna and not a Madonna, the only woman to single handedly change the meaning of a word that meant pure, holy and chaste to the exact opposite and then some and in so doing open up an entirely new door of acceptance for women and their liberties.  Though this iconoclastic rebellion, namely suffrage, is an epitome of the modern woman’s bible. Is every modern woman a rebel?

I think not, and as quickly as that definition rose so did it collapse in on itself, the essential simply cannot exclude a single modern woman who doesn’t fit the bill.

So after all that I did put myself to task to decide on what definition I will ride on because as you can imagine it is terribly urgent seeing that this is basically the blueprint of my life.

I happen to feel that what all modern women have in common whether they are rebelling against establishment or tradition or inferiority to men is that they are not empowered to soar, to rise and be their best selves. They feel chained and pressured by traditions, rituals, male-preference as well as gender roles because in reality no one trusts them with their own lives, they fight the reality that their lives are at the behest of some other’s.

To put it simply they fight to self-actualize, that they be able to determine themselves with all the rights and respect accorded to others. This is the one similarity I have found in all the modern women I have met, because through their decisions they are freeing themselves from the bondage of foreign determination.

Therefore, for me ‘a modern woman’ is not just the mannerism but rather the infrastructure needed the community attitude and the modern woman herself to actualize herself as best she can without fear of punishment whether she is a housewife, Madonna and everything else in between.

What’s your definition of a modern woman?

free?

Seo-Deok-22

And now I ask,

Are you free?

Have you ever been truly free?

The freedom of a fire,

Coursing through the veins of a Savannah,

A grassland sodden in flame,

A destructive freedom,

Baring and battering the earth,

Leaving it sore and inflamed.

The freedom of the wave,

Belched from the deepest recesses of the sea’s mouth,

Rushing thousands of miles per hour,

Soured with ire,

As it bangs with all its fury,

With all its power,

At the cliff tower.

Have you ever felt the dance of liberation?

In your feet, your spine and your mind,

Your body overrun with convulsions,

Temperature spiking with victory,

At long last.

Have you felt your body wrapped…..

In a spiritual embrace?

A genocide of fear,

A nuclear warfare within,

Rays of thine own exothermic revolution,

suffusing reality and history.

I will ask again,

Are you free?

Have you ever been truly?

dedicated to all the unsung freedom fighters and slaves who dreamed of freedom.

 

riverside blues

Shiny and smooth,

Tightly tucked in my bed,

Underneath my colourless blanket,

I remain here where you left me,

The feel of a thousand sunsets upon me,

The thrust of a dozen splashes above thee,

Do you see me?

Because I remain here where you left me,

The life of the water has wrapped me,

Decades of twirling fishes beside me,

Their death forever harmonic,

And yet I remain here where you left me,

Unmoved, unchanged,

Impenetrably solid.

 

I pray for that fatal flinging,

To crack my strife,

Exfoliate my hardened life,

Letting in life’s potion,

This is my pitiful plight,

A stone’s cry,

Ever so slight,

But until then dear blue,

I remain here where you left me.

 

 

An Invitation

In that split second mid-sky exchange,
The morning invited me to see the dawn,
She left me her numbers, coordinates I presume,
Where she will be when the darkness is torn,
And the great designer reconstructs the sky,
Embellishing it with egg yolk yellows,
stretching fingers of orange, blossoming blues,
As the eye of the sun re-opens,
That we may break the darkened fast on sunshine,
A beauty so uncommonly common, it’s absurd,
She dares me to trespass beyond my avowed darkness,
And try as I might, I could not get away,
The fortress of dawn is forever kept from me,
For when the hour was ripe,
From the battlements,
The arrows of first light were fletched,
Wedging painfully into my fabric,
They heard not my plight,
‘stead they set me alight
They tranquilized my efforts,
Flinging me far from sight
And now I awake,
As late as the afternoon,
A convalescent I remain,
My salve will arrive with the moon,
Not a moment too late, not a moment too soon,
I fear I may have to relent with the dusk,
With its grays and fading pomegranate violets,
My beautiful night’ sky and her pearls,
An ancient black beauty,
She can keep her dawn,
As I will my black bride.

Rescuing Yesterday

If the scientists are right,
And the threads of all reality,
Past,present &future,
Subtly rolled into one multi-yarn.

Sentenced to repeat,
Replay for eternity,
Hand me the water,
And the time capsule.

Just a gulp of the past,
That I may seal away,
All the pain,
All the strife.

Wind me up as you would,
A string of hope,
Let me wipe the tears of the future,
Before they fall.

Fear not for your todays,
Or whether you may witness,
The light of your tomorrows.

For I will risk it all,
To safeguard yesterday,
At the ultimate cost,
Of my today.

just the taste

HAPPINESS,
an acquired taste, some may say,
a rare delicacy it is.
Its marks indelible on my inner palate,
Though i fear i my never have tasted it at all.

Of it i hold faint memory,
like a mist atop a hill
Higher still and fading with every grasp.

It had the scent of an unknown wine,
brewed in men’s hearts.
At times with the tangy prick of sacrifice
& a sweetness of simplicity.

Intense it becomes,
In the presence of love,
& the simple majesties of mine,
dark legs, bumpy skin,crooked teeth, memories
I felt it then.

The memories have brought it back,
In the buds of my tongue it has sprung.
An unlikely taste indeed,
Always happening upon me,
Never when i’m in pursuit.

This taste is like nothing I’ve ever had,
yet it has the familiarity of everything I’ve always wanted.
Nonplussed at its mysticism, I fear
It will vanish,
I hope it does not.

fairytales

Now i have strangled them all,
I am no longer a princess.
All that remains,
Is this beautiful golden dust.

But of it,
I may have some use.

My hair has no flair,
It dangles not the length of a tower,
All that is,
are these tiny, black &curly cauliflowers.

I don them well enough,
On my head planted like a crown.

My prince was neither a frog,
neither newt nor toad,
he had white matted hair,
And oh how he slobbered.

To transmute into a prince, he will not,
though all i need are his sweet licks of loyalty.

As i said, I am a princess no more,
Neither a maid to be wed,
I am a king resurrected.
From that beautiful golden dust.

Only in the more pleasing &shapely form of your queen.