Crow and the Pornographic Gaze by Sara Wright


Once she believed that
it was her fault
they came on to her,
that she owed them
something
They owned her?
Secretly the
girl was pleased
because any kind of attention
was better than none,
or being so “different” –
stitched into an Indian skin.

She was a pretty shell,
an abandoned spiral
worn down by waves –
assaulted from within
by the pornographic gaze.
How she hated being young.

Walking down the streets
of New York
They leered at her from rooftops –
Whistling and yelling,
“Here comes the Madonna…”
She tried to make herself invisible.
How she hated being young.

The Old Art Masters indulging in their pornographic gaze….

When she sewed on her woman coat
she discarded tight jeens,
began to weave her hair in braids,
became a scholar and writer,
turned to the animals
and plants that loved her
to find acceptance and trust.

Unconditional love
assuaged the isolation
the void in psyche and body
where once no one breathed.
How could she have known
that Nature would save her?

Learning self-respect
is a life-time process.
As an elder,
she has broken
the spell –
toppled the edifice of
the
pornographic gaze.

She knows it’s
an ‘old boy’ problem –
a result of male privilege
bullying, a need to objectify,
chop women
into parts
behind closed doors.

Dirty old men
who stare at standing nipples,
hidden beneath a feathery cloak
leave only night chills
and a hoarse croak.

Revolted, she discards them,
and picks the bones clean.
She has the power
to render her tormentors
Invisible,
Inadequate, and knows it.

She leans
towards males
who are emotional adults,
men who are accountable,
men capable of honest relationship,
men whose deep humility
has rendered them human.

Their friendship,
respect for her integrity,
ideas, honesty, and empathy,
are the lenses through
which she has learned to see herself.

She is healing from sexual assault.

She is a tree with a star at her center.

By living a self-directed life,
She has become the partner
she once longed for –
a birdwoman with tree roots
sunk deep
in our ground,
this fertile Earth.

Postscript: I feel as if I am emerging from a deadly trance brought on by the monster who took over the White House and made it his own for four intolerable years. It seems to me that every aspect of this man reflects the pornographic gaze that has stolen our woman souls and bodies. Only now with 71 days left of his reign of terror is he being rendered impotent.

Last night I laughed when I heard Joe Biden’s response to t’s tantrums. He said something to the effect that t’s behavior was an embarrassment – not a positive legacy for him to leave behind. Joe Biden’s attitude towards Trump helps break “ the spell.” He reduces him to an annoyance and refuses to give the man credence, attention, or the power the man so craves. This return to normalcy is heartening. Maybe we have a chance.

Sara is a naturalist, ethologist ( a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Maine.



Categories: abuse, Abuse of Power, Body, Evil, fear, Gender and Power, Grief, Healing, Patriarchy, Power relations, Rape, Rape Culture, Resurrection, Sex Abuse Crisis, trauma

Tags: ,

10 replies

  1. Powerful, and epic in its robust span through spectrums of intensity of healing to wholeness. May Sophia and Lilith and Pallas-Athena and Vesta and Ceres and Juno and last but not least Venus and the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine descend together in balance within each of us to nourish the ground to rise up and support our every step moving forward.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I’m confused. Who is Laura? Who wrote this powerful poem?

    The pornographic gaze of the so-called Old Masters–that’s for sure! Why does Michelangelo’s David get a nice, big, safe figleaf, whereas statues and paintings of women are bare and free for anyone to look at? Why did the Orange T. Rex get elected even after he joked about grabbing women by their pussies? Has anyone ever grabbed him by his “package”? Yeah, for sure, it’s past time for him to be rendered impotent.

    Thanks for this truthful post. May all girls learn to live self-directed lives!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Barbara this is my poem – Sara’s poem!
    May we survive him… his legacy is literally one of death – and dying from Corvid. His division has infected half the country with his insanity – However, I add a caveat here – this couldn’t have happened without people finding his brand of insanity appealing – so where does this leave us???? We are a very sick country.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And a good poem like all your poems. Thoughtful, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for your witness,Sara. The spell is broken. So mote it be!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hello dear Sara. Thanks for this powerful poem. It makes me think about my personal experiences (and of many of my friends and relatives) with the gazes, feeling powerless, trying to heal. But we are healing together, we are raising our voices (finally!) we are learning self-respect, which, as you say, is not an easy process. I apologize for not changing my name when I uploaded your poem to the platform. I already changed it. Best regards.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh goodness Laura – this was not a big deal!…And yes, we are healing THANKS TO US and our refusal to shut up.

    Like

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