even when attempting to acknowledge
they shovel us into shapes
forming male symbols instead.
cloak us in pink.
use a stock image,
not our own artwork.
regulate us to the backpage
and then shut down even that.
as if our trades are of disgrace
rather than pleasure, hands touching hands,
money made for ourselves.
is it too obscene, that little positive-sign tail?
with a towering loop above
like the roundness of our nipples
that you tell us to hide everywhere
except the pages of your magazine.
your faux secret browsers.
we will continue to flaunt
in the ways we break through into,
feel comfortable in,
extract joy from.
we will continue to connect.
whether in warm bars, over tea,
through unstoppable selfies
and in courthouses.
and via our words,
scorching across your screen.
sitting queenly in the seats
we built at tables we built
and proudly side by side,
loudly side by side,
in a tide storming the streets.
we march on.
‘Washington Post’-published newspaper mistakenly features male symbol on Women’s March cover [Mic]
Women’s March on Washington Could Be Largest March Linked to Trump Inauguration [New York Times]
‘It will never stop’: Sex Workers Respond to Backpage.com Raid [Vice]
AJ Dent is a freelance journalist, photographer, and poet based in Oakland, CA. Her work has been featured by numerous publications, including The Nature Conservancy, The Museum of Pop Culture, STACKEDD Magazine, and The Capitol Hill Times.
Image via Mic/Twitter.