Once upon a time it was calves. My calves were made illegal and hidden under layers of cloth; to be mysterious and imagined and damn to insanity, any man who caught a glimpse of them.
Hands followed and so did feet, and then my face. The very hair on my head!
I was Medusa to be veiled at all times, lest I let lose all manner of malevolence, that I no doubt wielded, with just one look of my khol rimmed eyes.
And where I could walk as I pleased, I could only do so quietly; seen not heard.
So forgive me if in this lifetime, I dare to dance naked in the streets, singing in as loud a voice as I wish, telling stories I truly want to tell. It’s been centuries in the making and for the ones before me, who were shunned into mad solitude, burnt at the stake, trampled upon like mats to clean filth, I will walk, and dance and sing naked for the entire world to hear.
How dare you speak to me of propriety! How dare you, yet again tell me what parts of my own body, I can and cannot show; what stories I should and should not tell!
Where is the wisdom that should have come with your power thus far, patriarch?
Do you not see the wars the universe continues to birth; and how wasteful that I must still fight for that which a woman fought, ages before the mother to my mother even existed?
Where is the wisdom that should have come with your power?
Rule your wives and your daughters with that muscled iron fist in the sanctuary of your palaces.
Teach them how their existence is a flaw of nature and teach them too, the thousands of ways they should spend their lives atoning for daring to exist with such unearned beauty.
But beware, the veils of morality are not what dykes are to floods; they are mere flags in a hurricane of voices, rising up in an imminent storm of gender chaos.
And my songs have waited long enough to be sung; my feet have ached with the effort to sit still when all I wanted to do was stomp the ground beneath me in protest.
The ones before me died getting rid of the chains on my person; and you think I will wait for the veils of your dignity to cover me before I walk out into the sun?
Photography by Kennedy Gitau
Featured video because fuck yeah Janelle and Pussy Power💋