CA and I were tasked with writing a poem about the problems addressed in the novels we read, hers being The Color Purple by Alice Walker and mine being Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut while also using the themes we learned about during the Climbing PoeTREE workshop yesterday. While talking about the different issues in our books, we both found that our experiences were hard to relate to the books we read and they were more about our experiences on the other side of racial stigma. Through this we created #whitegirlproblems: The Womanifesto. This is the result of much laughter and frustration and a little more laughter:


the womanifesto
zf and ca

watch out for the old man following you
don’t look the black man in the eye
tv says, don’t be a slut,
but if you don’t put out you’re a prude.

confusion overload,
what do you want from me?
Images shot at my head from a rifle of skinny, photoshopped models,
demanding perfection,
but never threaten with your brain,
just smile and let your boobs do the talking.

does the color of my skin
mean that i should feel guilt and not be able to look you in the eye?
does it mean that I don’t understand your pain?

we are all more than a word next to a box
that we check to conform,
to simplify what we come from,
to condense our stories into a word that means nothing.

white on the outside,
a slur of colors on the inside.

white on the outside,
a slur of colors on the inside.

we all know pain,
but because we don’t know each other’s,
we assume that the other knows none.

now is not a time for judgement,
it is a time for ownership,
for an appreciation of diversity and the colors we all are.