IT’S A CON

A POEM BY LAURA BISSELL

Confusion
The words on the page
Confer
That feminism has been removed
from A-level politics
Context:
The Secretary of State for Education
(‘Minister for Women and Equalities’)
invites future sexism and misogyny
through her ironic cull
of half the story

Confusion
Concern
Contempt
that women’s history
barely made visible
frequently ignored
is being erased,
Condemned
Contained
Consigned

Consequence:
‘Feminism’
‘Gender’
‘Patriarchy’
‘Ethnicity’
‘Sex’
are more taboo
in the classroom
than ever before
Knowledge regressing
Authorities messing
Educators repressing
Progress ignored

Conflict
Who sees and who is seeing
is not the same
Who speaks and who is listening
is not the same
Conditioned
to tell history
The actions of those suffrage fighters
The campaigners and the sisters
The mobilisers and the mobs
Wiped clean from the grubby slate of history
A lone Wollstonecraft
in sheep’s clothing
features in
‘Pressure groups’
as the syllabus
is stocked
with similar looking
Men

Concerned
at what unnecessary war tale
or colonial trauma
dressed up as ‘nation’
will take its place
Confusion
at this state
we are in
women working for free
from now till Christmas
The next generation
will never know
about the
Constant
Continual
Collaborative
Convivial
Convincing movement
that laid the stepping stones
we all jump between

The gaps are still too big
but some of us
are lucky enough
privileged enough
to make it
and need to
continue
to convince
and comprehend
that we must hold our hands out
across the chasm
to grab those
who might
slip through
the gaps
and push them
up
towards the glass

 

Artwork © OLGA ALEXANDER

Malise RosbechComment