Mere Women

A “mere allegation” shatters and destroys lives, says the president.

 

His “mere” echoes deeper.

An allegation of mere domestic violence

An alleged history of mere sexual impropriety

shatters and destroys the perpetrator’s life.

 

His “mere” rings deeper still

An allegation by a mere woman

shatters and destroys a man’s life.

 

Ah, there’s the rub.

 

Not the unwelcome rub of male hands on female genitals

Not the rub of junk against unsmiling cheeks.

No, that rub is just the way things are.

locker room talk lived out

by boys being men, or men being boys

and who dares allege that they should not be?

There’s no rub there

No rub that matters

The process of that rub gives everyone their due

if women are mere,

with lives and careers not to be lamented

when they are shattered or destroyed

wounded or splintered.

and experiences not to be voiced

nor examined

nor trusted.

 

Better not risk voice nor examination nor trust.

Better shame and silence us mere women, call us liars

lest male lives be uprooted

lest a president’s façade be wrecked

Which could happen if there were such a thing

as the overdue process of recovery and justice

in which mere women and mere men

might become partners

who can touch and tell and trust

one another

with their lives and careers.

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