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Category: feminism

I asked my son to call me Nik, out of respect

I am huge on respecting my elders.  Still, I am thankful that I grew up in a place that taught me to call adults by their first names.  As if their marriage status was irrelevant to holding a conversation with them.  As if I was a human too, and not hoping to grow into one.

A few years ago, in trying to express to my child that I am a whole person–

not just the one who picks up his dirty socks

or the one who cooks his meals

or the one who works for his shelter

or holds his pain

or tickles his laughter

— I asked him to call me Nik, out of respect.

I wanted him to see me as a person in the world, not just a person who meets his needs.

I wanted him to understand me as human and dismantle the pedestal he had built for me to serve him from.

Not because I am afraid of heights.

Because it is difficult to hold his hand from up there.

Because I am more than his mother.

Because when he declares, “This is what a feminist looks like” I want it to be because he cares about women, as humans, not because he has a mother.  Not because he is supposed to.

Because it is his truth.

My brother’s hesitation

the sudden hesitation in my brother’s voice when he is telling me about loving women

the way he would talk to my other brothers about women

the way he talks to his friends

“I can’t talk to you about this, it’s weird.”

we dance around my sexuality as if it’s the thing always making everything weird

a women loving woman


and suddenly he realizes that I am a woman


.                                            what’s weird for him is that he respects me

My son wants a “pizza rolls not gender roles” T-shirt

I am considering getting my son a “pizza rolls, not gender roles” shirt, because no middle school wardrobe should be without it.

Except he doesn’t like pizza rolls and I am not sure that I want to endorse the advertisement of almost foodness to young people getting food choice freedom for the first time (at school lunch at least).

And “broccoli not gender roles” is just weird.

This is your official challenge to come up with a “__________ not gender roles” shirt slogan for middle schoolers.

Happy writing!

Petty Post



1. of little importance; trivial.

2. of secondary or lesser importance, rank, or scale; minor.

Petty officer, petty cash, petty theft

.                                                                petticoat.

We rank

shrink sums of money

women’s peeking undergarments.

.                                                                        The same origins.

Prompted to Be Man Luggage


Photo by Shae Savoy

Photo by Shae Savoy

1. The light is out:

Instantly, I see a woman’s body

folded, we already

pre-shrunk her, to fit in

the suit case.


After rape

or aging.

Her folded body


for busy-ness quick

get off

her children have his last name.

2. How to Be Man Luggage:

  • Make handles of your hips retractable
  • Open and close on demand
  • Have (w)heels for being dragged
  • Hold out your left finger for his identity tag
  • Be reversible
  • Contain what he does not want to carry
  • Hide his secrets
  • Zip yourself sealed
  • Carry more than you can hold
  • Expand, but maintain your shape

3. How Not to Be (the) Man(‘s) Luggage:

  • Travel, light
  • Take off
  • Show up
  • Arrive
  • Read the broken signs

(You don’t need to lug those social expectations anymore. Set it all down.)

4. Question Bergman as Baggage:

How do you learn to savor if you always carry, in stock?

5. Sometimes light is for highlighting what is there, but not lit:

(Be)rg(Man Luggage)


real girl

ready go