POEM: Stop Asking Women to Smile

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By Tuesday, Oct 17 Arts & Entertainment

Should a woman smile who has AIDS in Africa
whose husband beats her
who is not getting paid fairly
who is judged on the color of her skin
whose child is taken away
can’t afford health insurance for her family
whose apartment just got burnt to the ground
who is sexually abused by her father
raped by her boss
not promoted and passed over for a new male hire.

Harvey Weinstein wanted his women to smile
while he asked them to massage him,
give him pleasure while he took theirs,
stealing their sense of worth as person,
good for only his own pleasure, promising them
a future on the big screen, the lure of celebrity,
what is it about neediness that blinds a woman
into denial of owning her own power to set the terms,
so now years later the gorgeous bodies step forward
like a beauty contest to say I was humiliated, I was repulsed,
I was bargained for in a trade that lives in my dreams
year after year, the women walked into the hoop of fire,
hoping they were the next Marilyn, without remembering her
naked on the bathroom floor.


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