Category Archives: Food for thought

Quote of the Month

“Girls are taught: your body is a project that needs work before you can attract others.
Boys are taught: your body is a tool to master the environment.”

Caroline Heldman

I think this is painfully true. That it is true is indisputable, women are viewed as sex objects end of story. In films, on the street, at the beginning of relationships, in the office. We are bombarded with images in magazines of conventionally attractive women. Yes the female form is beautiful! Why should this truth be painful? It is painful because it has become the main source of a woman’s sense of self. If she doesn’t look good to others and doesn’t receive external affirmation that she looks good to others, her identity is shot down to the ground, up in flames, her worst fears are realised. It is painful because a woman is too often numb to her own desires and own sense of self and identity that stretch beyond this need to please, this need to present to the world an image that serves a purpose. Beyond this image lies more often that not an unlived self that is too scared to emerge for fear of rejection. More often that not this self is extraordinarily beautiful and as teh true self it is the self that has to be liberated and lived out. That is what we should work towards emancipating.


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A poem to embody


by Maya Angelou


Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing of my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see.
I say
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
The palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


from And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou.


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