Women Are Not Wombs

This video is my first upload to You Tube! I recorded it at last week’s exhibit opening for Transitions at the LGBT Resource Center of Michigan State University. The opening took place during Transgender Week of Remembrance. Soon I will upload the entire show. If you’re in the area, swing by the LGBTRC and check out the exhibit!

“Women Are Not Wombs” was my sure pick to submit and came into being while reading Mary Daly’s Gyn/Ecology during the summer of 2007. The poem embodies my rejection of this celebrated feminist’s hostility toward transgendered persons. FYI – A thoughtful and provoking response to Daly’s legacy is captured by Sady in the blog post “Acts of Contrition: Feminism, Privilege, and the Legacy of Mary Daly” (Feministe).

It was an honor to be a part of the event, which gave me the chance to perform this piece for the first time!

Women Are Not Wombs
by Melissa Dey Hasbrook
for Mary Daly

women are not wombs
nor safe deposit boxes and Mrs. Potato Heads
nor clitorises and hormones

we are seen by eyes tracking us over time
deeming us fit for certain positions
recognizing our surface designs as wardrobes and body types

whether equipped with dicks or lips
we are monitored closely by misogynists intent on our demise
arrival at their ends and means and beginnings


WOMAN’s definition daily sprung by wombed warriors
reminiscent of The Mother of Christ
and Magdalena The Whore

Mary Mary quite contrarily describes
anatomical requirements to be WOMAN
forgetful in spite of attempts to re-member Prehistory

when we stand in stories
eyes travel our lines
sizing inches between margins and thighs

yet The Woman Identified
defies bindings
applied to chemistry and biology


WOMAN is made not simply born

we break casts poured as molds
to constrain our brains and libidos

we dance over splintered plaster
until another doctor tries to diagnose our fate

and we survive again to dance again

and live with knowledge of eminent threats
well acquainted since we knew ourselves in a nonbiblical sense

we are self inventors and appropriators
reclaiming and playing with words
whether or not wombed

we are made in minds
of our own and others beside us

we are made by choices
of our own and others besides us

we are made every day

and some of us refuse to be tucked tight
like morning beds

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