I learned to suppress my emotions at an early age. My mother was a master at such suppression and I was determined not to replicate my father’s explosive temperament. For too long, women have been criticized for being “too emotional,” as if passionate feelings are a bad thing. Such criticism continues to be a primary weapon used to maintain women’s oppression. That’s why men in power resort to labeling women protesters as an “angry mob,” then turn around and praise each other’s anger as being “strong and forceful.” Such double standards enrage me.
“Well behaved women seldom make history,” said Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Perhaps overcoming our fears and releasing our rage is the best way for us to make history now. Although I wrote this poem in February, it seems particularly relevant today.
Hot steam billowing up
Smashing against lids of self-control
Teary droplets unable to fall
Opening would bring needed release
Afraid of being scalded by her volcanic emotions
Afraid of being burned by others all over again