Yes Hillary cried at Yale, as I cry at my alma maters too…Poem “Waiting”…

Because that is how much it means to a feminist to have gotten her education and done the work that she has.  I was thinking of a poem I read in the 70’s as a young girl in Ms. magazine.  Hillary Clinton probably read this poem too back then.  I was just a little girl in the early 70’s but this poem by Faith Wilding speaks to me now as it did then.  What were we fighting for?  The right to be equal with males.  The right to control our bodies.  The right to choose what we wanted to do with our lives.  Like many other heterosexual women we were going to get married, and we did.  Hillary’s marriage to Bill Clinton is just like mine.  They support each other, and he stands for her.  Feminist politics have changed since the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s.

I’m so proud of Hillary, just as I am for my other sisters.  The struggle has been long and hard.  Don’t give up the fight for respect as a woman no matter what skin color you happen to be.   Because this is the eve of the biggest election of my lifetime, I want to post the poem that I read so many years ago as a preteen.  Because, it encapsulates so many women’s lives.

Big deal if a woman sheds a tear.  Big deal if that tear contains her whole history within it.

No man will ever know our lives.  It makes no difference what our skin color is, in the end.

Waiting

A Poem by Faith Wilding
Waiting . . .
waiting . . .
waiting . . .
Waiting for someone to come in
Waiting for someone to hold me
Waiting for someone to feed me
Waiting for someone to change my diaper
Waiting . . .
Waiting to scrawl, to walk, waiting to talk
Waiting to be cuddled
Waiting for someone to take me outside
Waiting for someone to play with me
Waiting for someone to take me outside
Waiting for someone to read to me, dress me, tie my shoes
Waiting for Mommy to brush my hair
Waiting for her to curl my hair
Waiting to wear my frilly dress
Waiting to be a pretty girl
Waiting to grow up
Waiting . . .
Waiting for my breasts to develop
Waiting to wear a bra
Waiting to menstruate
Waiting to read forbidden books
Waiting to stop being clumsy
Waiting to have a good figure
Waiting for my first date
Waiting to have a boyfriend
Waiting to go to a party, to be asked to dance, to dance close
Waiting to be beautiful
Waiting for the secret
Waiting for life to begin
Waiting…
Waiting to be somebody
Waiting to wear makeup
Waiting for my pimples to go away
Waiting to wear lipstick, to wear high heels and stockings
Waiting to get dressed up, to shave my legs
Waiting to be pretty
Waiting . . .
Waiting for him to notice me, to call me
Waiting for him to ask me out
Waiting for him to pay attention to me
Waiting for him to fall in love with me
Waiting for him to kiss me, touch me, touch my breasts
Waiting for him to pass my house
Waiting for him to tell me I’m beautiful
Waiting for him to ask me to go steady
Waiting to neck, to make out, waiting to go all the way
Waiting to smoke, to drink, to stay out late
Waiting to be a woman
Waiting . . .
Waiting for my great love
Waiting for the perfect man
Waiting for Mr. Right
Waiting . . .
Waiting to get married
Waiting for my wedding day
Waiting for my wedding night
Waiting for sex
Waiting for him to make the first move
Waiting for him to excite me
Waiting for him to give me pleasure
Waiting for him to give me an orgasm Waiting . . .
Waiting for him to come home, to fill my time…
Waiting . . .
Waiting for my baby to come
Waiting for my belly to swell
Waiting for my breasts to fill with milk
Waiting to feel my baby move
Waiting for my legs to stop swelling
Waiting for the first contractions
Waiting for the contractions to end
Waiting for the head to emerge
Waiting for the first scream, the afterbirth
Waiting to hold my baby
Waiting for my baby to suck my milk
Waiting for my baby to stop crying
Waiting for my baby to sleep through the night
Waiting for my breasts to dry up
Waiting to get my figure back, for the stretch marks to go away
Waiting for some time to myself
Waiting to be beautiful again
Waiting for my child to go to school
Waiting for life to begin again
Waiting . . .
Waiting for my children to come home from school
Waiting for them to grow up, to leave home
Waiting to be myself
Waiting for excitement
Waiting for him to tell me something interesting, to ask me how I feel…
Waiting for him to stop being crabby, reach for my hand, kiss me good morning
Waiting for fulfillment
Waiting for the children to marry
Waiting for something to happen Waiting . . .
Waiting to lose weight
Waiting for the first gray hair
Waiting for menopause
Waiting to grow wise
Waiting . . .
Waiting for my body to break down, to get ugly
Waiting for my flesh to sag
Waiting for my breasts to shrivel up
Waiting for a visit from my children, for letters
Waiting for my friends to die
Waiting for my husband to die
Waiting . . .
Waiting to get sick
Waiting for things to get better
Waiting for winter to end
Waiting for the mirror to tell me that I’m old
Waiting for a good bowel movement
Waiting for the pain to go away
Waiting for the struggle to end
Waiting for release
Waiting for morning
Waiting for the end of the day
Waiting for sleep
Waiting…

“It seems that women have been doing all the waiting not the men!!!” Waiting A 15-minute monolog, scripted and performed by Faith Wilding in the Performance program at Womanhouse, “Waiting” condenses a woman’s entire life into a monotonous, repetitive cycle of waiting for life to begin while she is serving and maintaining the lives of others. The full text was published by Ms. Magazine in 1972, and in the Appendix of “Through the Flower” by Judy Chicago.

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