Lately, I’ve been deeply moved by so many stories of oppression and persecution in the news. It seems as if women and men all over the world now refuse to be kept down and the tide of freedom is gaining momentum. All of these strong emotions inspire me to write. What else is there to do when faced with so much horror so far outside the span of our control?
While watching a Democracy Now! news report about the brave women of Western Sahara and their fight for self-directed governance, that little snarky voice in the back of my brain said, “Ha! And men use the word pussy to call out a coward.”
Now, she’s telling the story of the indigenous peoples of Morocco in Western Sahara.
Genocide and oppression cloaks the earth; no race is safe, no religion blameless.
The women are out on the front lines.
They go out into the streets and demonstrate publicly.
Police and military beat and arrest them.
The women are draped in brightly colored robes
with complicated patterns,
intricate designs bringing to mind
all the lush blossoming places on the planet.
Sahrawi women speak for Sahrawi peoples.
Sky and blood and life.
The colors of their robes reveal the pulse of the people,
even as same coverings hide lost hair and gained scars.
She is strong. Look how strong,
how sane she seems.
Yet, the men will still say
the police are cowards for beating women.
Scum of the earth pussies.