They confiscated our skins because we did not obey their rules,
cut off our hands in a deal with the devil,
and cut off our feet for the sin of wearing red shoes.
They told us Eve’s Apple and Pandora’s Box unleashed the sins of the world
and we inherited eternal punishment on their behalf.
They tell us we are less than human:
slaves and whores, devouring mothers and hags,
baby making machines to be ruled by the laws of men.
They chain us to the stove,
throw acid on our faces,
and burn us alive at the stake.
They rape us as a weapon of mass destruction.
Rape is a weapon of mass destruction more devastating than a missile.
Rape is a weapon of mass destruction because women are the makers and nurturers of culture.
It is time to own our responsibility as Culture Makers.
We are born for this.
We are women born to know our power,
power over our lives and power to rewrite the stories
passed on by generations of mothers abused and destroyed.
We are women born to be our own saviors,
no longer surrendering our sovereignty
to one controller in the hierarchy of patriarchy.
We are women born to be resilient;
to make beauty and meaning, to transform our trauma and grief;
to prove the story of powerlessness a lie,
a lie that keeps us from believing we can transcend what happens to us.
We are women born to claim our agency
and transform this rape culture into a feminist culture.
We are women born to create a nurturing culture
of interdependent people who respect the dignity of all beings.
We are women born to raise our children to be whole,
to teach them to embrace their light and integrate their dark,
and to be themselves rather than projections of who we think they should be.
We are women born to build bridges of connection
between ourselves and our children,
ourselves and other women, ourselves and our men,
ourselves and our earth.
We are women born to live by principles of inclusion,
because we know everyone needs to belong to someone
and everyone belongs to us.
We are women born to know that attention is connection,
that if we attend to the needs and cares of each other
we will form bonds that cannot be broken by men’s violence.
Hearts shine bright in our chests as we pray with Mary.
We are women born to love with a ferocity that will suffer no abuse.
Skulls rattle around our necks as we dance with Kali.
We are women born to burn the old ways of being down.
Hips rock in our beds as we demand our pleasure with Lilith.
We are women born to defy the superiority of men.
Throats sing our stories as we walk out of the darkness with Persephone.
We are women born to lead our daughters out of the winter of silent suffering,
into the spring of justice and liberation.