we give up our power because



It has come to my attention, boys and girls, that some people are reading this as an autobiographical piece. It isn’t. It’s meant as general commentary, looking at the relationship between women and power, which, admittedly, I’m becoming kind of obsessed with (women + power + creativity). Okay? Okay!

We learned that we were pretty.

We learned that we were not pretty.

We starve to fit the skinny jeans.

We learned that skinny jeans = power.

We learned that being the hottest girl in the room = power

We learned that to please = power

And boys, especially boys

We learned what not to be:

too smart or ambitious or GOD FORBID competitive.

We learned to laugh when required and listen and applaud

We learned to disguise our boredom

We learned to stand on the sidelines

We learned that boys chasing us = power

We learned that being chosen = power

We learned that men are hunters and we should let them hunt us

(why else would they want us)

We learned that spending money on lipstick and shoes = power

We learned that men spending money on us = power

Because it means they love us

even when they don’t.

We learned our role is to serve

And show gratitude and ask for nothing

Otherwise we’re golddiggers

(and selfish)

We learned to make excellent coffee.

We learned that we’re bad at math

and if we’re good at math we’re bad at personal finance

and if we’re good at personal finance we should still let the man

Deal with the money, or act and talk like he does

So people won’t think that he’s pussywhipped

We learned not to talk about money or care about money

Otherwise we’re golddiggers

(and selfish)

We learned not to learn about money because it’s boring.

We learned to do housework and volunteer work and go into the arts.

We learned to wear pink uniforms.

We learned to be poor.

We learned that business is for businessmen

and if we go into business

We learned not to set our prices high

so people won’t feel bad ’cause they can’t afford us.

We learned not to push for first or value ourselves too highly

Otherwise we’re conceited or deluded

(and selfish)

We learned to avoid confrontation

We learned that anger isn’t ladylike

We learned that when we fight it’s not tough and noble like when guys fight

It’s just a catfight

If we do it in mud they charge admission.

We learned that we’re supposed to be happy

Or strangers will tell us to smile

We learned to unplug from our pain and send it under

We learned to sneak and manipulate and cajole and charm and flatter

We learned to be the angel of the house

We learned to be the good wife

We learned our place.

Otherwise we were wrong, or wrong in the head

(And selfish)

We learned that if women were as smart as men

where are the great female physicists and chess players

We learned that our talents are second-rate

We learned that we’re emotional, hormonal and crazy

We learned that our wombs are hysterical

We learned that our bodies belong to the public

And fathers + husbands + religions + governments

We learned to get off on getting them off

We learned to fake orgasms

And that sex isn’t really sex if we just have it with each other.

We learned that we don’t need feminism anymore

Because feminists hate men because they can’t get any

we’ve come a long way baby and what’s left to fight for

Except decent maternity leave

and a mate who doesn’t expect us to do most of the housework

Because his paycheck is bigger

Because we learned to work part-time or quit for the babies.

We learned to be guilty.

We learned that working moms are bad moms and evil.

We learned that the hand that rocks the cradle rocks the world

although it doesn’t.

We learned that we’re doctors and judges and district attorneys now

on tv

and what’s left to fight for but The Bachelor.

We learned that power is only sexy in a man

We learned that women with power are freaks with bad haircuts

And doomed to die alone

Unless they put up with philandering husbands.

We learned that landing a powerful man = power

Even though it’s his and he takes it back at will.

We learned that somewhere out there was a prince who would save us

Even if he works all the time and is damaged or abusive

We learned that his work is important and worth sacrificing for and ours is not.

We learned that his time is valuable and ours is not.

We learned to play small and be small.

We learned that power hurts and we shouldn’t want to want it.

We learned to fight for the rights of others.

We learned to fight for ourselves and almost win – then step back, turn away

in love with the so-called enemy

We learned not to be inconvenient.

We learned the old stories, the marriage narratives, the fairy tales

We learned that we lack their replacements.

Jul 10, 2011

38 comments · Add Yours

Hey Justine,
I really enjoy reading your posts and this one is no exception.
You are correct in what you say here and women should not have to do this but still do to this day.
Women in fact do not have to do this as you know, and I as one man cannot wait until this is no more.
It is sad that as an evolved species we (men) are so afraid of letting a woman be equal to us when in fact they are.


You nailed it, sister. And, yes, a new story is right here, right in front of us.


A very striking piece. I can imagine this being declaimed from a stage. It feels like it ought to be read aloud. Not that the words don’t have power on the page. What bothers me is that poems like this are still being written. Change takes so long. The world is changing – well, my little corner of it is – but despite all the legislation they pass it will be a while yet I fear before true equality exists if it ever can or should. I’m not sure that equality is the answer actually. Men and women complement each other. That’s the whole point. We all have strengths and weaknesses.


amazing. as always.


Thank you for writing and posting this piece. It took me back to the confusion I felt growing up as a young girl, learning the social gender norms and wondering why boys were always in a more privileged position than girls. It made no sense then and still doesn’t. Thanks again for posting. You’re an inspiration.


@Jim Murdoch Just curious — and thank you for your comment — and I sense that you’re a good man, no question — but if you were talking about, say, black people, would you say: “I’m not sure that true equality exists if it can or ever should…[White and black people] are complementary…We all have strengths and weaknesses.” ?

Somehow I doubt it.

Which probably has a lot to do with why, during the presidential campaign, people stood by passively while Clinton was attacked viciously + repeatedly just for being a woman, while the fact of Obama’s race was (for the most part) carefully respected (admittedly at least partly because he was canny enough to know to stay clear of any behavior that would have invoked the ‘angry black man’ stereotype….although what Clinton could have done to avoided her gender being an issue, I have no idea.)


@Jim Cantwell Well technically, women never *had* to do it — but you have to consider all the little ways as well as all the big ways that they learn to do it — because of the price they pay if they don’t. (Including today. There’s still a price to pay for stepping outside the box of conventional femininity, as any woman who has been attacked for being a ‘slut’ or a ‘bitch’ can tell you, including yours truly.) The major difference today is that — often — girls don’t start to understand the ways in which society still cuts against them until they’re married with children.

It’s not what we’re aware of that hurts us — because when we’re aware of a line of belief, we can change it — it’s what we’re *not* aware of, what we take for granted, what we never think to even question, that hurts us. And continues to do so. And men get sucked into this as well — they get trapped in their own gender boxes — society just happens to enable them (as a gender) to accumulate wealth, rule society and write history while they do it.


This is so powerful and beautiful and full of truth.


Thanks for this, Justine. You remind me of how blessed I am to have a husband who believes that sacrificing for the sake of *my* career is worth more to him than sacrificing for the sake of his own.


I agree with every line of your poem. And yeah, it’s sad but true. And although, in parts of the world, society is making baby steps of evolution, in many places it regresses.

So what to do? Can any one person save the world? I haven’t seen it happen yet. But what I have witnessed and read about, are temporary pools of humanity and kindness. I think there are many pools of humanity swelling and evaporating all the time, everywhere. And I think it’s up to you and me, and of us, to find (or make) a humane tribe that nurtures us.

I think in your own way, Justine, you also are spreading a pool of humanity, a provocative sanctuary that draws positive energy and open discussion of meaningful issues. I’m glad I found you.



First of all, would have liked to have read the other comments, but for some reason they are in ALL CAPS which is really hard to read. Oh well….

To Irv above: I disagree with almost every line. I also disagreed with you when you asked Justine if she were “naughty or nice.” UGH. Totally inappropriate. I was also disappointed Justine actually tried to answer the question. I would have told you to jump in a lake. That’s because I have NOT learned to “please.”

Wow, Justine. I am ‘almost’ speechless over this post. I read all of your blogs and have liked every one — except this. This is the first time I don’t think you are wise. You sound like a sorry ass — not a creative bad ass. I don’t know what world you “learned” all this stuff. But it isn’t my world.

Yes, we do learn what the world thinks of our looks. Who cares? You can’t have ______ or a ______ career if the world doesn’t approve of your looks? HUH?

Who is to say the world is correct? Do you believe everything the world tells you? “The world” can only bum you out if you let it.

Skinny jeans may equal power in a bar. In the real world — like at the grocery store or the post office — if they’re too skinny, they look stupid. Skinny jeans in corporate America look slutty. Slutty will not get you very far. Do you think Hillary Clinton/Maya Angelou/Meg Whitman etc. etc. ever wore tight pants in their lives? Skinny jeans are a mindset. It’s being small minded.

“We learned that to please = power.” Oh brother. This is a statement by a wuss who won’t stand up for herself. I have rarely “pleased” for the sake of pleasing. I assert myself — have since 4th grade — lived to tell the tale — doing just fine.

Since when is smart/ambitious/competitive taught to be a bad thing? I never got that message. How about Oprah? Mia Hamm? Serena Williams? Sandra Day O’Connor? Sarah Palin (OK, skip the smart part on her)? Tina Fey? Sally Ride? The list is endless. Don’t women look at successful/kick ass women and say, “Hey, I can do that, too?” Or do they act pathetic and think “the world” is out to get them?

Justine, you’re a published author. Is that “standing on the sidelines?” Aren’t you doing what you want to be doing?

Men are hunters. So what. Who care who does the chasing?

“We learned our role is to serve.” Are you effing kidding me? Serve who? OK, if you’re religious, yes you serve the Lord or whatever God you believe in. That’s it. Subjugating yourself is your problem. You only do it because you think you are not worthy. This requires you to change your attitude about yourself. Not for the world to change.

“We learned to avoid confrontation.” That’s not gender specific. But I do not avoid conflict, anger, or conforontation. I actually kind of enjoy it! People/things/the world can only bug you if you let them.

Oh puhleez, no self-respecting woman over 40 wants “The Bachelor.”

Probably the worst statement: “Women with power = freaks with bad haircut and doomed to die alone” is so awful — disingenujous at best and offensive at worst. Is there no such thing as a successful attractive woman with friends and family?

“We learn to be guilty.” Again, are you effing kidding me?

I can’t go on anymore — because I will slam just about every sentence as whiney and ridiculous. UGH. Where did you get this philosophy on life? Did that ex of yours really do a number on your psyche? Geez, do you not have girlfriends to give you decent feedback when you spout off this nonsense or feel crummy about yourself?

I did like the part about that we fight for the rights of others.

Justine, lighten up. Fire your therapist. Not helping. Count your blessings. Don’t let your failed marriage color your world. The only way to go through life is as yourslef. If Guy #1 didn’t like it. Too bad. Move on. (Your ex sounds like an ass — no matter how much money he has or “power” that you seem obsessed about — these are not the requirements for a loving lasting relationship. And BTW, Wife #2 will figure it one day herself — and will be crying on your shoulder!)

The part about “playing small” — very true — it’s a self esteem thing. Be yourself. That’s enough.

Take care. Oh yeah, hopew you found that swanky hotel in Venice. What a drag to be stuck in the Marriott. ;-)

Toni Dockter
http://www.FuchsiaWoman.com/blog — where I write about women being strong and independent and not giving a sh*t about what the world thinks of them.

P.S. Have you ever heard of Bety Ford? There’s a role model for you. She was an AMAZING woman who accomplished so much — helping herself and helping others along the way.


@Toni Dockter

For Christ’s sake, Toni!

Why the hell do you think this is autobiographical?

Do I seem like a victim to you? Newsflash: I AM NOT.

This is a list of *why women give up power* . Did I say all women do this? NO. Have they done it in the past? YES. Do many women continue to do so? Well, hey. Are we ruling the world yet?

Frankly I’m just as irritated by your reading as you are by the piece, so I’ll stop now and maybe address this later.


@Toni Dockter ….you may DISAGREE with many of the messages in the culture, AS YOU SHOULD, but you can’t deny that they are out there and that a whole new generation of girls is being affected by them (why the fuck are there books like THE RULES? why are they bestsellers?). The exceptions to the rule — of which, happily, there are many — still don’t disprove the rule, and no amount of talk about “strong women who don’t give a shit about what people think” is going to change that. Because: the relationship between women and power is like the relationship between women and money: deeply, deeply problematic. And I think we should have a discussion about it.

I notice you’re in the Bay Area — can’t help thinking, that maybe biased your reading of the piece (and of me)? You probably have different associations with my name than many other readers. Shame, because we’re on the same side.


Thanks so much for such a lively sounding board here of fellow writers. I hear where you are coming from. I’m currently reading book “Half the Sky,” and boy (pun intended), is that about women and powerlessness.

In my own experience, I had to get past the point where power is seen as a possession period; it seems to be as accessible as air, and just about as graspable as air. I mean it can work through me, but it’s not mine–or anyone else’s for that matter.

As far as writing new stories. We can spend our energy blasting the past/present, but the real power is in creating a vision. and being a writer as well, I have decided there is more power to words than I originally gave credence to.

I recently wrote about this and crediting Saul Williams for getting me to on that track of thinking of the power of our writing and what we chant. He acknowledges the lyrical revolution in hip-hop, and asserts that “vivid, descriptive narratives of ghetto life seem to have come at the cost of imaginative or psycho-spiritual exploration.”

I see resistance to conceive of a dynamic future–fresh and separate from past–springs from overlooking the feedback loop of our call-and-response rhythm with the dynamics of life; singing the same chant simply asserts past imprints. Pain and other intense emotional attachment to the past is carried into the present so it feels “real” right now. Saul Williams, in his essay, “The Future of Language” says, “The problem is when we recite the same ol’ shit into microphones which increase the sound vibration the same ol’ shit continues to manifest in our daily lives, and only gets more deeply embedded. but of course employing one’s imagination is problematic when the aim is to keep it real.”

For sure there are replacements. We’re writing the future. We’re crystallizing our visions–sometimes in our words–into our lives right now.

p.s. I lived in Silicon Valley a long time, their definition of power is sort of teeny in the grand scheme of things. In fact, I found your blog because my Mom gave me the Elle issue where your story was featured. Somehow my Mom assumed I’d know the Paypal founders since I used to work on ‘Net stuff. Been following you since. My first comment.


@Toni Dockter Well Toni, you certainly blew up over this. A woman’s place is the world must be an ever raging issue in your life which you feel compelled to defend. Nothing wrong with that. There are many reasons to address this situation. But why deny that male domination exits and that many women are taught to accept it? That IS the way it is, in so many facets of society world wide. When I read Justine’s essay/poem, I thought about the women in the Middle East who are trying to find a voice in the quest for democracy, with their lives on the line. Do you know what is going on in Africa? Woman are still forced into sex. Female gentile mutilation still exits, as does office harassment, salary inequality, and spousal abuse in this country. Advertising and entertainment has always featured “beautiful people.” This condition is also world wide. Sure, there are always exceptions to the status quo, perhaps in your case, but Justine was pointing out cultural trends to AVOID and OVERCOME. Not to emulate. I suspect you knew that. So why shoot her between the eyes?

Regarding the “naughty or nice” comment I made months ago. Those words were metaphorical and related to the subject of Justine’s essay. I think she even used those terms in the body of her post. Consequently Justine understood what I meant and responded accordingly.

Toni, you are reading these posts with an emotionally charged point-of-view. Could you be misinterpreting Justine’s message? You misinterpreted mine.



@Evelyn Rodriguez I absolutely believe we’re writing replacements — my point is that we’re still writing them. They don’t exist yet. (I want to help rectify this.)

HALF THE SKY — *great* book. One of the experiences that got me tracking along this line of thought in the first place was reading that book.

“employing one’s imagination is problematic when the aim is to keep it real.” — totally disagree. you can do both. you not only need to know where you want to go, you need to know where you are, so you can figure out how to get from A to B (to C to D…). recognizing + identifying + describing the past or the present isn’t necessarily *dwelling* in it, or wallowing in it, which I would say is what you’re talking about. the past leaves a lot of things festering in the dark; we need to bring them to light. only then can we let go of them. in any case, it’s by looking through your past that you can ascribe meaning to things — or re-ascribe them — in a way that empowers you — connect the dots in a meaningful narrative that connects your past to your present and works to shape your future. (my personal life narrative, for example, has me coming into my power right around, say, now, and striding into the future to kick ass, take names. wearing really great outfits.)


We can each be the replacement for all this damaging nonsense. As the mum of a little girl, I watch how this stuff tries to creep in all the time, from the most expected sources (like me!). It will change if we don’t give up. This is where the pen can truly be mighty.


This post is insightful, well written and mostly true.
I am amazed at how passionate these comments are.
The feminist thing not being needed anymore is so true. Once when I was at university we were doing a class exercise and the professor asked which of us were feminists and I raised my hand and most of the people in the room looked at me in a really strange way.
What they all did not understand is that for me being a feminist is about being comfortable with the fact that I am a woman, and very much wanting to stand up for my beliefs, and for women who have fought for generation to have their human rights respected and put into practice.
I think that as it is with most pieces of writing, and especially good writing it is supposed to make you think, generate a discussion, it is supped to shake and stir something in you and this text has certainly done that.
Do the dishes, don’t do them
Be an engineer, or a make-up artist
Stay at home with the children or not
In the end as long as you are making well informed decisions it is all up to you.
It is your life, and hopefully you will be able to do with it whatever you choose

And it may vary a bit if you are a woman in Luanda/Angola like me or if you are American the truth we have all come a long way, and you should assert your rights everyday.
Justine, great post.


Wow. I want to say thanks, Justine, for being you. Thanks for putting yourself out there. Obviously, we don’t all agree on everything. That is what makes us individuals. While there are truths in everything I saw written, there are things I don’t agree with. And that is OK because my opinion is my own. What is my truth is not necessarily the truth for every woman out there.
@Toni Dockter Thanks for your response. I won’t be visiting your blog. There are many ways to say what you need to say without being obnoxious. You totally missed the point of the piece. Thanks again, Justine.


When I was about eleven, the mean girls would run their hands up your shins to see if you were shaving yet. If you weren’t – ultimate shame and you pleaded with your mother until you were allowed. If you were competitive and a good athlete, the boys loved it. The other girls, not so much.
To my dad, everything I did was brilliant and perfect. My mother told me to be a lady. My boss looked at me with new respect when I laid out the reasons why I deserved a raise. I always felt that my female co-workers were talking behind my back.
In my experience the pressure to give up power comes from other women. I think, in this country, that’s where the real problem is.


@Tania Dakka “What is my truth is not necessarily the truth for every woman out there.”

Thank you, Tania. And some things can be true for us at certain times and untrue at others. We contain multitudes, after all.


1. Why do we not know who Toni Dockter is? The way she speaks of herself I would think she would be one of the most powerful, influential, inspiring, famous women in the world.

2. I think it’s good that Justine can exchange banter (the Naught or nice comment) with a reader. I have a feeling if anyone even looked at Toni wrong she’d have them shot and maimed. That’s not a sign of strength, that’s a sign of insecurity. Chill the f**k out!

3. Poetry, like every work of art on the planet, is not going to resonate with every single person. Does that make them all a “sorry ass”? What makes Toni so special that she gets to name call?

4. I did not take this piece as Justine complaining or being a victim. The title is about US GIVING up power. It by no means says we are being raped of our power. Not every person or every line is going to hit home with every person. Justine is simply getting into the minds of some young women she has spoken with over the years and addressing real issues that that they have expressed to her. Again, not every line is going to be real to YOU, but they are very real to many young women. Please remember art is subjective. Calling an artist a “sorry ass” because your sorry ass can’t understand anything unless it’s about you is sorry.

5. I hope Toni doesn’t have any kids because they will probably end up with really low self esteem. I know if my mom went around calling people a “sorry ass” for having a difference in opinion than her, I’d be trained to be a really ugly person (and probably a narcissist).


@justine “We contain multitudes, after all” is what gives us the power to be strong, yet soft. It is what makes being a woman so wonderful and so difficult at the same time. Our truths are indicative of who we are at our cores. And these differences are what make us unique and beautiful creatures. It is the respect and empathy that we have for one another that allows us to unite as women, as sisters, regardless of differences in beliefs.
@Dana I totally agree. In my experience, I do not succumb to the pressures of men as much as I do the pressures of women.


Not every line fit, but there were some in there that I identified with. Things I’m trying to let go of.


I meant to comment and share the link to a girl who calls out Beyonce for lying in her video “Run the World” because women are still considered a minority despite having a slight majority population.



Wow! Thanks for your poem – sign me up! xx


@Jim Murdoch Yes, take this to the stage!


I am dealing with some of these issues RIGHT NOW in my life!
I have so givin up my own power, in sooo many ways.
All the wasted years……….
Thanks for writing this.


whew ! and again for good measure.
its not only the women who go thru this stuff both sexes do at different points in time.maybe women live out ‘their lessons taught while young” and men later when they are safely out of the home womb and the umblical cord has been well and truly cut.
Both go thru the stuff and find their ways —-they have to ——-
not every woman feels powerless or a man all powerful
Inspite of all every woman is a Goddess incarnate and every man a God —it is better we hear—-feel—-think——believe it—–it is the Universal truth
we create our own reality——-not what others think of us
we are two beautiful parts of a whole —with a little man in every woman —and a little woman in every man——it is WO-MAN—–do’nt forget !
making love to opposite sex or to the same really is no big deal—-RE-MEMBER—–we have been both in various lifetimes——yes, maybe transgender —–so what does it matter to another—-live and let live——-
wearing tight jeans——no jeans or a sack cloth are only one persons perogetive—–THE WEARER’S !
If Hillary Clinton never wore them —so what——perhaps she is happy in her suits—–or just not comfortable in TIGHT JEANS !
There are nudists too—–so good luck and happiness to them——the same to the one in a robe ,veil or loose trousers——-it is their body that needs to adjust—WHY TROUBLE YOUR MIND !!!
so vive la difference !——-power is a state of mind—no one can give it to you or take it away


Justine, you’re words are accurate and because they are accurate they are astonishing.

For those who imagine that such complaints no longer carry any relevance in the U.S., I have one question: Why, after nearly half a century, has the Equal Rights Amendment not been ratified?

For those who think you sound weak and whiny for admitting that there is power outside of yourself and that it is habitually and reflexively and openly and covertly oppressive, I have a different question: What the fuck planet y’all living on? On this one, when women enter a field (take medicine, for example) two things happen: that field gets micro-managed, and wages tumble. Remember when doctors had power? Then you remember when they were men. Remember when that power shifted to HMOs? Then you remember when women started setting up their own practices. Oh, it’s more complicated than that? Follow another industry, then, and see what happens. Women have served as a domestically available “immigrant” labor force since World War II.

The truth is never irrelevant. Because it is politically correct to pretend that women are powerful does not make it so. A poster of triumphant soccer players is a wonderful image, Toni. But guess what? There’s a team of women who lost that particular game. Oh, they must be wussie women and downcast and not worth looking at or thinking about.

Wussie, Toni? Really? Where’d you pick up a term like “wussie”? When you got your mouth soaped up for saying “pussy” is my best guess. Or maybe you just don’t think about the words you use. And maybe you should, because “wussie” is what a dominant male calls a weaker one when he uses him like a vagina.

Justine may think you’re on her side, but I’m kicking you off my team until you figure out what game you want to play. Your current brand of cheer leading is bad for morale. Wussie? What a dick of a thing to say to a team mate!


Read all the re-actions and inter actions today.
Please why are you all calling each other names ? is abusing,using swear words supposed to be a way of life.Cannot all of us agree to disagree in a more gracious and dignified manner.It started with one person—but quickly spread to others.There is place in the Universe for all beliefs abd action.is rubbishing the other a victory of sorts.Justine wrote what ever she felt—Great !!
It is a free world and others can inter-act——but why are we pummeling each other sore ???
Say what you have to ——don’t take yourself so seriously——-A pinch of humour does a great job of understanding and being understanding.


This was one of the best poems I’ve ever read.

I read it aloud to my BF.

Waiting for you to write a book called “How to Rock Being a Woman.” And this be the first chapter. SO amazing!! So true about the fighting thing. And the math thing. And yes.. the skinny jeans.

Only suggestion: (I can’t help myself..) I think you should delete the first mention of golddiggers and just put otherwise we’re selfish. It fit’s better with the second time. Also thought the line ending in governments, didn’t fit as I thought it was talking about an American woman. I also didn’t get the last line. But yeah, I thought to myself, *amazing.* after essentially every line of this.

I reread it a second time — and this line really struck me (it hadn’t jumped out the first time)
“We learned that landing a powerful man = power…Even though it’s his and he takes it back at will.” I like it because it’s true and personal at once, and that’s powerful.



You sicken me. Again, circular logic is your downfall. And, look at this, you complain about all of this, yet you participate in it on the daily! Look at yourself! You are so so so weak and inadequate and embittered towards men because you shit on your beliefs, this is horrendous. Don’t you feel guilty, spreading propaganda to all of these women? You don’t have to bash men to feel good about yourself, make your positive change, make action, and stop sitting around on your ass pointing fingers at men DOING THE EXACT SAME THING THAT YOUR COMPLAINING ABOUT. Grow up.


I love how your email address is gimmethat69@hotmail.com.

That says it all right there.


I seriously needed to read this, at just this moment, tonight. Thanks so much for the validation. Today I was about to give up my sense of self – yet again – to a person who is so consumed with his own feelings and self-centered point of view that he has never understood me or my motivations, and has self-righteously spouted more than a few of the lines in your poem. My children had to point this out to me. Thank goodness I did not let him get by with it, this time.

We need to make your poem required reading in every classroom. Before every Board meeting and Town Council. Let’s evolve, together, because there’s so much good in the world that we can do – and all these ridiculous attitudes are holding us back from reaching the full potential of the human race.

I used to say my husband was evolved and his mother “raised him right” because he is a wonderful cook, and he knew how to do the laundry. In my limited world that made him a caring partner. Now I realize there’s a lot more to being a good person and a partner than cooking and cleaning. The mutual respect, honesty, and forbearance that was missing in our relationship resulted in a web of resentment and misunderstanding that eventually destroyed it, and I realize now that he has a long way to go before he could be considered to be “evolved.” And so do I.

Thanks again. Keep writing, the world needs the beacon that you are to light the way.


@A Concerned American Just wanna give you some love for all the concern you show, there, American.

(Justine, are you 100% sure that address isn’t gimmethat06@hotmail.com? Just saying, because the other person has got to be both upside-down in the head and looking elsewhere.)


Being an outside observer having never been a women, this what I noticed about the piece.

A self defined by others.



You write so powerfully! I love your blog. I’ve spent the entire evening reading through past articles and i’m still not done. Thank you for helping re-activate my badass. All the best to you


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