From the moment we are born
We are taught what it means to be clean.
Our skin is stripped and we are sterilized
Countlessly scrubbed until we shine
And our mothers can see themselves in us.
And astringent that
We are taught what is clean
And what is not.
Keep away the grime with 409!
Kill all the germs with Lysol!
Vanquish the odor with Fabreeze!
Shampoo’s not good enough
We need conditioner!
Soap’s not good enough
We need body wash!
With a different scent
To cover our natural scent
We Smell Bad.
Women Smell Bad.
And we need to Smell Good
We need deodorant and perfume
Sanitary pads to be sanitary
Shave—You’ll sweat less
And wet won’t cling
To those nasty hairs
Shave—It’s more hygienic
It’s more Feminine.
Shave it—Shave it ALL
(Except for your head hair,
Which you should grow luxuriously long.)
((But don’t forget those hair products
To keep it in its place.))
And Down There—Hide That!
It smells Really Bad!
Men aren’t Wet like that
Only a little, and they can control it.
And they don’t need underwear
To keep from leaking all over the place.
So shave it off!
Douche it out!
Cover it up!
You’re disgusting because you have a Cunt
You disgusting Cunt.
From the moment we are born.
In the fifth grade I was told
“Our genitals have less germs than our mouths
They are Self Cleaning.”
It was a little late.
I was then shown pictures of Ideal Genitalia…
Nobody ever told me
That Cunts aren’t necessarily supposed to be
Unobtrusive even folds
And perky little clits
Small and dry and cute
Smelling like roses
A two-dimensional black-and-white drawing.
Are they all like that?
Are a lot?
I didn’t let anyone in
Because I thought I was deformed.
The first time I did, I had to get drunk.
I braced myself
For the inevitable cry of disgust.
It never came.
The second time, I was still drunk
And still bracing.
The third, fourth times
Still lay there with clenched teeth
And clenched eyes.
It still never came.
(But neither did I.)
A really long time
To figure out that I wasn’t a freak.
It took a lot of reading,
A lot of reprogramming
A lot of Self-Exploration
To alter my relationship with my Cunt.
Though I am much more than Just A Cunt
My cunt is an inherent part of Me.
(And—If I had to be Just A Cunt—
Well, there are worse things to be.)
You might want to know,
“How did you even start to question
All that So-Called Hygiene Propaganda?”
I think it’s just because I was tired.
I was fucking tired of hating myself
Of holding myself in
Of hiding and cringing so much
I developed a stagger and a stutter.
Of being afraid
Finding out that I was Dirty.
I am not Dirty.
But I am not Clean,
If Clean means what the Magazines Say.
I am Beautiful I am Human
I am Female I am Real.
And if you don’t like it, that’s fine
You don’t have to live between my legs.
(And anyway—That space is Occupied.)