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My refusal to live apologetically or exist quietly often results in men saying I am “difficult to love”.
This poem was inspired by Warsan Shire’s piece “for women who are difficult to love” and it articulates how I exist as a female bodybuilder and construct my identity without consulting a lover. I am not a paint by numbers or Sudoku I was not waiting for your puzzle piece It was never my intent to be soaked in sunshine Expect hurricane, more lightning bolt than sky Forecast drought and pray you will perish in my presence I will chew your expectations of softness then pick them from my teeth Spray mirrors with the aftermath until my reflection screams victory I was still powerful between your lips but these thighs do not ache for a mouth that treats me like a meal when I am serving revolution Kneel down and pay attention To each quake of tablecloth, Each quiver of cutlery If you still see this as consumable, Then call it delicacy I am a dangerous woman, an open flame who flirts with the aisles of libraries I am a volatile concoction of passionate intent, and an intelligent silence, a razor slicing flowers Your affection is displaced I am contentedly untouched, My hands know how to caress, without acting as gloves over someone else’s instruments I am a body of water even if nobody swims in my sea Do not call me star, do not call me galaxy Call me human being Floored and finite Do not call me day or night Call me something in between Something blurred, liminal and entirely unclean Call me dangerous woman, A vampire in red lipstick Who uses poetry to Suck the blood of patriarchy If you believe I am difficult to love, thank you.
And some days red, silk lingerie is also empowering.
The family of a Massachusetts man who stabbed a woman repeatedly before he died in police custody says they tried to get him help for mental health issues.Niall Richardson believes that “we are all body-builders” because the contemporary body is “viewed as a project” that we shape through individual choices.In this way, practices such as applying makeup, wearing clothing and cutting hair constitute “body building”.Masculine figures are familiar with their role as savior while femininity becomes associated with passive helplessness.There is a clear outline of gender roles, a binary of power and everyone can read their scripted parts thoughtlessly. I no longer idolise the physique and aesthetic of female bodybuilders but I admire their dedication.