If Our Societies Were Patriarchal

a poem by Elizabeth Padillo Olesen, Denmark

If our Societies Were Patriarchal



If our societies were patriarchal
If these were communities
Rooted by male power and dominance:
Of kings, horses, chariots and wine
Of rules, laws, statutes and big decisions
Of male priests, bishops and popes
In the altars of our churches,



How could these societies stand
As communities without women?
Women to obey and harvest the vineyards
Women to feed the animals and the babies
Women to say “AMEN”
to all male exhibitions and exhortations
Women to let the altars shine in utter cleanliness?



If our societies were patriarchal
If these communities were
Rooted by male power and dominance:
Of male leaders in government seats
Of top posts secured by men with high salaries
Of agreements of unions and alliances between and
Among countries signed by men in their shining suits?



How could these societies stand
As communities without women?
Women who clean the tables and seats
with perfume and antiseptics
Women who allow to receive lesser pay
of the labour of their hands
Women who keep the important documents
for safe keeping
Women who sew and iron crumpled clothes
of men for feasts and celebrations
Women who bow their heads,
accepting the iron hand of men?



Who could withstand a society without women?
For indeed if these societies should be made
Into real communities,
Then the role of women
Should be looked into
In the light of the patriarchal hand
of male power and dominance.



Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
April 16, 2007




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