[Poet's Note: A reflection on women’s solidarity inspired by an essay on a historical subject.] Dear sister, calling my solidarity Because I am a woman, Tell me, dear sister, Where have you been on that dark day they cast me out because I am of other faith than you ? Tell me, my dear beloved sister, Where have you been, When sly averted faces , Passive hostility and hissed insults, Secretly circled slander Made every step of me a trail of torment? Dear sister, Why were you not ashamed to show a false and lying face to me filled with faked friendliness, yet would not speak a word for me when I was accused falsely? Was it not you, dear sister, Who would call me mad, because I would not love, as they had bidden me? and do I not remember your gleaming face, your cheering mouth when fire-flames licked on my bridal bed the stake of wood? Oh, sister, what’s the secret of your inner heart? Why do you call my solidarity?
The poem was inspired by some musings on the fact that very often in societies where the rights of women are suppressed or in situations when the freedom of opinion of a woman is put to the test, other women actually degrade themselves to be the "long arm" of the patriarchal culture, for just a little gain of social standing by adjusting themselves to the role model of an obedient woman. Sadly, this does not only apply for societies in which the women are suppressed, but also applies to the group dynamics in our society - women subduing other women in competition for male favour.
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