You accuse me of “voting with my vagina” and to that I say,
This vote was decided the year I wanted to take shop class,
But my vagina was told to learn to cook,
Learn to sew,
Learn to take care of a home.
This is a vote shaped with the job rejections (and 70% salary)
Determined by the very existence of my vagina.
A vote earned with every dollar spent on birth control and health care
For my uninsured vagina.
Today I cast a vote with catcalls fresh in my ears,
Every abuse, humiliation and torment still aching and raw.
And yet I’m still being asked why I didn’t just hold my legs together.
My vagina survived… and remembers.
This vote is made with the strength and courage it takes to push another human being into this world and feed her with my body while my vagina still bleeds.
Here is a vote for everysingletime I was told
I threw, fought, cried like a vagina
As if that was something weak and unworthy.
This vagina has survived pain, felt shame,
And shared pleasure.
It has carried a lifetime of secrets and memory,
And knows exactly what it wants.
Sarah Gowan - November 2016