Woman in Chains
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Woman in Chains
(What Man Would Abide It?)
Women throughout centuries – the softer sex.
I picture them subservient since what feels like time primordial!
What man would abide
being sold as if mere chattle and being called another’s property?
What man, with a love of learning or of writing,
would acquiesce and be denied
the education and the opportunities he so desired?
What man would dare take second place -
hiding in the background or covering his face
because society or church said things were meant to be that way?
What man would abide having cut off from his body
that part of him from which carnal pleasure is derived?
What man would let his feet be broken as a child,
bound up to resemble hooves to keep him in his place?
What man would abide being burned alive
if the dowry of his spouse were deemed unsuitable?
What man would abide (if not so inclined)
enduring the agonies of giving birth again and again
because his spouse preferred he stay at home?
What man would abide being raped or even killed
as punishment for even being raped?
What man would endure constant beatings for “his own good”
and feel good that his church or state approved this?
What man, if he were able to get pregnant,
would take on all the stress of unwed motherhood
when the one who got him pregnant bailed on him?
What man would abide the stigma and the soiled reputation?
What man would prostitute himself to feed his babies
because a job for one like him would not be given?
What man would abide living enslaved by an abuser,
afraid to run away or be found and killed by his abuser?
Atrocities like these through centuries have too long been endured.
No man would for so long a time endure them.
For reasons of pure biology, the role of the abused
was hoisted primarily on women.
Thank God for those strong women a mere century ago
who stood up, bravely fighting for women’s rights.
Thank God for lonely sister souls in faraway places
who even now stand fighting against inequities -
simply for the fact that they were born the softer sex.
Aug. 31, 2020 for John Hamilton's Woman in Chains Contest
Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2020
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