Poem Hunter
Poems
Women's Liberation
(2 May 1961 - 5 July 2006 / Melbourne / Australia)

Women's Liberation

Talk to me about the feminist movement,
the gubba middle class
hetero sexual revolution
way back in the seventies
when men wore tweed jackets with
leather elbows, and the women, well
I don’t remember or maybe I just don’t care
or can’t relate.
Now what were those white women on about?
What type of neurosis was fashionable back then?
So maybe I was only a school kid; and kids, like women,
have got on thing that joins that schemata,
like we’re not worth listening to,
and who wants to liberate women and children
what will happen in an egalitarian society
if the women and the kids start becoming complacent
in that they believe they should have rights
and economic independence,
and what would these middle class kids and white women do
with liberation, with freedom, with choices of
do I stay with my man, do I fall in love with other
white middle class women, and it wouldn’t matter if
my new woman had kids or maybe even kids and dogs
Yes I’m for the women’s movement
I want to be free and wear dunlop tennis shoes.
And indigenous women, well surely, the liberation
of white women includes all women regardless . . .
It doesn’t, well that’s not for me to deal with
I mean how could I, a white middle class woman,
who is deciding how can I budget when my man won’t
pay the school fees and the diner’s card club simply
won’t extend credit.
I don’t even know if I’m capable
of understanding
Aborigines, in Victoria?
Aboriginal women, here, I’ve never seen one,
and if I did, what would I say,
damned if I’m going to feel guilty, for wanting something
better for me, for women in general, not just white
middle class Volvo driving, part time women’s studies
students
Maybe I didn’t think, maybe I thought women in general
meant, Aboriginal women, the Koori women in Victoria
Should I apologise
should I feel guilty
Maybe the solution is to sponsor
a child through world vision.
Yes that’s probably best,
I feel like I could cope with that,
Look, I’d like to do something for our Aborigines
but I haven’t even met one,
and if I did I would say
all this business about land rights, maybe I’m a bit
scared, what’s it mean, that some day I’ll wake up
and there will be this flag, what is it, you know
red, black and that yellow circle, staked out front
and then what, Okay I’m sorry, I feel guilt
is that what I should be shouting
from the top of the rialto building
The women’s movement saved me
maybe the 90s will be different.
I’m not sure what I mean, but I know that although
it’s not just a women’s liberation that will free us
it’s a beginning

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