Poems for Pussy Riot: Women of the Year by Betty Doyle

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On 13 September, English PEN launched ‘Poems for Pussy Riot‘ in support of three members of the Russian punk band –  Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich – who are currently serving a  two year prison sentence. We will be posting poems dedicated to Nadezdha, Maria and Yekaterina in the weeks leading up to their appeal hearing on 1 October.

The following poem comes from artist and writer Betty Doyle.

My name is Betty Doyle, and I’m 17 years old. As an artist & writer I believe in freedom of speech, and Pussy Riot stand for all of my artistic, feminist beliefs. Keep fighting!!! 

Women of the Year

Naked and pale;
A bare breast.
I have a body that is a piece of art,
A piece of meat,

A piece of ass that he can sink his teeth.
I am too opinionated, uneducated,
Bra – burner, man hater, castrator.
I am a bitch.

I am a little living doll
For you to under estimate:
Just a girl for you to dominate.
Hold my hand,

I fall on my own.
Mirrors and camera flashes mock me,
Mannequins and magazine covers are my antithesis,
My mortal sin.

Lead me by example, by the waist;
Call me sweetie, fear my art.
“Stay away”, I say
But of course its a lie –

I am a sweet sixteen anarchist,
Never been kissed,
Feminist.
I won’t be used, abused,

Screwed over.
Scrape me under your boot, throw me in a cell,
Try to silence me, try to tell me
A vagina is not a good thing to have.

 

 

Other Poems for Pussy Riot posts
 
Poems for Pussy Riot – an introduction to the project
 
Soutien-Gorge: Ira Lightman
 
Vagina: Sophie Mayer
 
Song: Ali Smith
 
Abridged and Complete Biography of Olympe de Gouge: Claire Trévien

 

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