Poetry as Activism for Women in Society
Today I wrote this haiku. I was thinking of how to put the word prompts borrow and aim together. On the surface, I thought of a benign symbol of the idea I was wanting to convey: a bee visiting a flower to gather pollen:
a striped friend aims to
borrow what she needs to build
But after I typed it, I began reflecting on three deeper levels of symbolism related to women in society.
1. Women prisoners
What about women who are jailed (wearing prison stripes) and/or sentenced for theft, drug-dealing, drug possession, shoplifting. We rush as a society to convict and judge? Why?
What about community intervention?
What about systems in place long before some women turn to crime to make ends meet?
Is all theft/shoplifting/drug dealing done out of malice?
What laws may be too severe?
What prison systems are broken and fail to be rehabilitative or overlook women’s needs to transition once released from prison?
2. Women seeking grants and loans
How does society and our financial systems treat women, particularly those who are also minorities, seeking to borrow loans/credit/investment for entrepreneurship? For community initiatives?
What could we do as a society to make our banking and financial systems more supportive of and more accessible to women in our industries?
3. Women in the military
How does society support women’s involvement in the military, those earning strips of distinction in service?
How does society help with the transition from military service back into civilian life?
Thank you for listening. My 5-minute writing exercise led me to have a lot of deep questions this morning. Questions I don’t yet have answers to, but I am working on it. I welcome your comments and suggestions.