A Revolutionary Woman

By MARWA SHARAFELDIN 30 November 2012

Part of a series of poems by African feminist writers for 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.

You talk to me about your austerity measures
The need to copyright my past, present and future
To relieve your financial crisis pressures
I have to tighten my belt and work hard
For somehow, I have to save the banking system
So it can save me and my daily, hard work pleasures

I am told that the financial architecture is designed
So that abundance overflows
from rich to poor,
strong to powerless,
man to woman,
But all I can see in your architecture ... is bad plumbing
Clogged pipes everywhere
Congested with your investments
And my assortment of hard-earned debts

But you better watch it, for you really can’t beat me
I’m used to tying your free trade with my free labour
Your market economy with my care economics
Your fiscal policy with the welfare of my tenderness...
But not for you, for those I love...
And in my love lies my revolution
So don’t get too comfortable
Because I am a revolutionary woman

Did you know of the kind of world that I desire?
My fickle warrior heart, and my eyes that shine like fire?
My dancing step and my strong working hands?
That knead our freedom together without tire
My deep wild laughter
At the colourful dreams to which I aspire?
Don’t let my thunderous silence fool you
For I shall never honour your economic ceasefire
Don’t get too comfortable
I’m a revolutionary woman

I am all too aware that you need me
Can you survive without my loving free labour?
Without the royalty of my generous nature?
Can your empires last one second if I decide to with-hold
The abundance of my one dollar?
What if all of us decide to do so?
What happens to your profits
If my womb decides to hibernate
No more babies for this world
And no more consumers for this market
What if I ... decide again to Occupy?
A new market, a new system, a new justice
Never forget
Your power comes from my acquiescence
To my legion of beloved friends, sisters and mothers
‘The street is ours!’...once said an old ancient mama sage
Its true you know, all it takes nowadays, is one facebook event page
Let us then see you cower ... under the surge of this woman power
So don’t get too comfortable
I’m a revolutionary woman

Untamed minds and boundless dreams
Ablaze with all possibilities
Equality justice and solidarity
Connecting our joint bloodstreams
I pluck the stars and scatter them around us
Its an old protection ritual for the adventurous
Be prepared...
For I know the smell of revolution when it’s a brewin’
Don’t get too comfortable...
‘Cause in front of me lies, a terrifying bunch, of revolutionary women.

This poem was originally published in Development 55, (September 2012).

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