These Women

19 Mar

A poem by WITA Secretary Jennifer Gammage.

These women that dare believe in me,

They build me with hands worn from work,

And veins that make maps to hearts stronger than mine.


They raise me up from self-imposed swamps when I lapse into self-pity,

And they breathe into my mouth the breath of history’s sacrifice.

These women, my friends and ancestors,

They make me, and re-make me.

Against all odds, they remind me to keep walking uphill.

They have woven the threads of nations with revolution,

And they believe me into being.

These women who have not given birth to me,

They call me into my living each day,

And yell in the night to remind me where the shore is.

They have fought so I can find moments of peace,

And they will never let me go down easy.

These women, my sisters and mothers,

They give me life,

And I live in their image, with their voices ringing in my ears.

They knead my muscles as I dig into the earth to find food,

And part branches on dark nights when the moon is hidden.

These women who whisper blessings that make the ground stop moving,

They make me and have believed me into being.





Kris here. When I was putting together the very first WITA event — called, simply, Women in the Academy — I almost didn’t recruit from the philosophy department because I wanted to avoid making it about “my” issues. More on that soon, but anyway my partners at the Women’s Resource Center thought I absolutely should bring in a philosopher. Jen was the first person who came to mind, because she’s a badass, and as this project has come along over the last year I’ve realized that she’s very possibly more enthusiastic and optimistic about WITA than even I am. I’ll be tagging entries of this sort from the core WITA team as, um, From the Team. For now. I’ll let you know if  we come up with something better.

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