I copy this unedited.

Male and female, girl and boy, woman and man – we are so much more alike than we are different.

Let us be us…not what they, he, she, or that group wants us to be – we are human!

We will win!

For Every Woman
By Nancy R. Smith, copyright 1973

About this poem: This poem found its way around the world by word of mouth as part of the Women’s Movement and the many consciousness-raising groups in existence then. It was of the same timeframe as Ms. Magazine, Marilyn French’s The Women’s Room and Marlo Thomas’ Free to Be album. It is important to understand its context. It has now been “adapted” with credit to Nancy R. Smith but without her permission. Much of the original wording is still intact in the adaptation, which is being sold in poster form. This is the original!

For every woman who is tired of acting weak when she knows she is strong, there is a man who is tired of appearing strong when he feels vulnerable.

For every woman who is tired of acting dumb, there is a man who is burdened with the constant expectation of “knowing everything.”

For every woman who is tired of being called “an emotional female,” there is a man who is denied the right to weep and to be gentle.

For every woman who is called unfeminine when she competes, there is a man for whom competition is the only way to prove his masculinity.

For every woman who is tired of being a sex object, there is a man who must worry about his potency.

For every woman who feels “tied down” by her children, there is a man who is denied the full pleasures of shared parenthood.

For every woman who is denied meaningful employment or equal pay, there is a man who must bear full financial responsibility for another human being.

For every woman who was not taught the intricacies of an automobile, there is a man who was not taught the satisfactions of cooking.

For every woman who takes a step toward her own liberation, there is a man who finds the way to freedom has been made a little easier.

To understand what it meant in the 70s to be called a “girl,” see Call Me a Woman. I believe this is still true today. Note that this does not relate to the use of the term “girl friend” by women among themselves.

Copyright © 1973 Nancy R. Smith 154C Shore Drive Peabody, MA 01960

Advertisements