Che cosa significa essere una donna?

What does it mean to be a woman?
This question stands out today
like a light flashing in front of my eyes.

After reading Sanctuary
I feel raw and robbed.
Faulkner's young skinny debutante
is defined by the men around her
as a pussy-resource.

Sitting in my women's studies class
we passed around glossy pages
of all the warped images
that have become so passe and unquestioned:
girls with stomach-acid scarched knuckles
glittery blue eyelids
open legs to invite our gaze to their crotches
shiny moist skin
highlighted chests
open lips
and scared looks of submission.

These definitions of womanhood bring me grief.
I am tired of abiding by the limiting parameters
established by this society throughout time.

Why does she squirm when she has to look down at her own body?

(journal entry: March 2, 1998)