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Make Her Invisible by Shelley Haggard
If her face is beautiful, cover it.
And if her flesh is beautiful, obscure it.
And if her voice is beautiful, silence it.
And if her femininity is obvious, veil it
so that none will compete against her or for her.
If her feet are not small enough, bind them until they are.
If her breasts are small, inflate them until they're large.
If she is mentally unfit somehow, remove her clitoris
so she will not desire sex and will not masturbate or cheat.
Let her show not the slender arms or trim ankles
or olive eyes rimmed with kohl.
Keep her barefoot and pregnant and too busy in parts
to worry about the world as a whole.
Make her pious and pleasing to her husband:
otherwise let him attack her face with acid,
or burn his bride in an accidental kitchen fire,
or define her life and death by her dowry.
If she is raped make her the cause
and kill her to preserve your honour.
If she is of low value, make her disappear.
Do not ask the man to control himself:
just blame the woman.
Do not demonize a cultural belief:
Use tact and patience if you'd have them cease.
Do not learn or grow or adapt;
just stay the same until the world forces you
to quit your archaic behaviors.
Do not admit that a woman is paradise on earth
or that the Gods might have planted her here.
Do not acknowledge that she has passion for more
Than producing heirs for men to paranoid of losing
their power to protect her.
Just make her invisible.
BIO: Canadian born video-poet, Shelley Haggard, has won numerous awards including - second prize for her poem "Depressionville Hotel" along with a separate award for her poem "Bamboo Speak," published by Trevor Corolon of University College of the Fraser Valley (Canada). Shelley also won distinction for her published work in the 2005 spring issue of Vancouver's "The Rag" - a progressive women's magazine. Dedicated to the promotion and appreciation of poetry throughout Fraser Valley, Canada, Shelley was integral in the creation of the MSA poets Potpourri Society publication -- "Poetic Spirits of the Valley - 25 Years." See Shelley's video poems + interview: www.youtube.com/shelleyhaggardpoems / www.blogtalkradio.com/omegadawn