Contradictions by Emma Di Bernardo

Here at the One Woman Project, we love profiling young people doing incredible things - such as this piece of literary work by Emma Di Bernardo

Contradictions

One hundred and eight.
One hundred and eight years of celebrating herstory
Written in textbooks by cis-gendered men
Who probably think that label meant
Sisssssterhood.
Damn feminists, destroying our language. 
One hundred and eight years of this International Day
And we are still living a contradiction of both holding power
And sitting with the fact that it's only a matter of time before we become a statistic.
One in three. One in four. One in six.
Black and white photos tell us these binary oppositions are in the past
Like languages whipped out of Indigenous women in missions
Mission statements from iconic feminists saying "it's only for real women!"
But I turn on the TV and straight allies are winning Grammy's for rapping about what queer people have been screening for years.
My friends' identities are dismissed because the feminist movement just got everyone okay with sex, and we don't need you telling us that some people don't even want it at all.
White girls like me with microphones are telling refugees' stories
Explaining racial prejudice while lacking authority.
There are survivors of hate and inhumanity that don't fit the narrative of our deaf sisters who lost their lives to the second World War

Because their beautiful dancing fingers weren't seen as quills and ink of a respectable language; because acknowledging other persecuted groups today means we won't have enough Judeo-Christian values in our classroom

The leftist bias of the National Curriculum is making children forget where to put a comma
And god damn it, that's what we need in our lives
Another punctuated pause. 
Beauty cream ads tell us to love our bodies
Because it's already been ten years in our history since Dove helped us soak in real beauty with their luxurious moisturiser. 
Women march at Reclaim the Night in 1979
And thirty-eight years later, I text my friends after the march to make sure they got home safe.
We need to open our minds
To the silent narratives
We need to open our hearts
To take in the hidden stories
Of years gone past and years not yet dreamed of
To fix the contradiction of the experience of women.