eMILY F. Butler
Emily F. Butler is a high school librarian by day, stand-up comedian and musician by night. Their work has appeared in Halfway Down the Stairs, Moonglasses, Eunoia Review, This Zine Will Change Your Life, and Bone Parade. You can follow them on Twitter @EBetcetera.
chorus of dominatrices
Pains today include: stomach, abdomen, breasts, thighs, mind.
People with the ability to impregnate:
Try to care.
Learn how to worry.
Here. It’s simple.
Use language, body,
imagination. Feel the shocknausea.
Try it in the first person.
I can’t even cut someone’s hair without
worrying I’ll fuck it up how dare you wreak
ruin with your orgasm you don’t even have
trouble achieving them what is one more
for you. They’re considered a given
yet often they are taken without warning
without consent without protection
What’s the plural of dominatrix?
Here’s an equation for you:
A society which prioritizes male orgasm necessitates abortion.
Pro life draws a straight line from your pleasure to our pain.
Put it in the first person.
Put yourself in someone
else’s [baby] shoes
[for sale] [never worn]
What makes you think you get to come at all?
[Chorus of dominatrices]
Haven’t you ever spilled a drink on someone’s dress?
Haven’t you ever let words slip out of your mouth
warm with regret?
Don’t you recognize selfishness
as it oozes out of you?
We do. We can feel it.
Some Truths are Hard on the Body
Ceasing to take birth control due to lack of sexual activity has greatly increased your libido.
Not taking birth control risks pregnancy while taking it risks death (yours) from heart attack or stroke.
Sex and death are interwoven- especially for those who can get pregnant- but not in an inspiring sort of way.
You begin a hormonal birth control regimen at the start of a serious relationship. Thus, it can be hard to know for certain the true source of your ensuing emotional turmoil.
Increasing divorce rates are a sign of societal progress though many find this emancipation depressing or foreboding.
Increases in sexual assault statistics mean at least someone has taken the time to write them down.
Life forces us to consider the male perspective simply by turning on the television.
Men do not have to switch their perspective until the argument is already underway.
See also: “POV pornography.”
Whose Point? Whose View?
The physical pain of having a uterus seems too basic to even mention here.
Many femmes shave their armpits due to insecurities instilled by early 20th century ad campaigns.
To recognize this fact is to veer dangerously close to “telling women what to do with their bodies.”
(Although that is how shaving began in the first place.)
It is possible to recognize all of the above and to shave your armpits anyway.
Not wearing a bra is associated with the 1960s. Braless people with breasts are ridiculed as hippies. They are called sluts.
Yet again the choice between mental and physical comfort.
It is easy to brush this off as a small issue rather than recognize it for what it is- a decades’ old problem never solved- a daily restriction harkening to our cruel, corseted history.