Sunday, August 06, 2006

Suheir Hammad's Exotic





This poem is my favorite. This one really touched many women of color as we all face everyday sexualized racism, whether from family, work, school, the general public, and the ever-present mass media in one form or another.

Hats off to Ms. Hammad!



exotic
by suheir hammad


don't wanna be your exotic
some delicate fragile colorful bird
imprisoned caged
in a land foreign to the stretch of her wings
don't wanna be your exotic
women everywhere are just like me
some taller darker nicer than me
but like me but just the same
women everywhere carry my nose on their faces
my name on their spirits
don't wanna
don't seduce yourself with
my otherness my hair
wasn't put on top of my head to entice
you into some mysterious black voodoo
the beat of my lashes against each other
ain't some dark desert beat
it's just a blink
get over it
don't wanna be your exotic
your lovin of my beauty ain't more than
funky fornication plain pink perversion
in fact nasty necrophilia
cause my beauty is dead to you
I am dead to you
not your
harem girl geisha doll banana picker
pom pom girl pum pum shorts coffee maker
town whore belly dancer private dancer
la malinche venus hottentot laundry girl
your immaculate vessel emasculating princess
don't wanna be
your erotic
not your exotic

2 comments:

Ann said...

Thanks, Steph.

Beautiful poem. Especially the reference to the Venus Hottentot and Private Dancer, two representations that black women are all too familiar with.

Stephanie B. said...

Ann,

I know. I could also add the vicious stereotyping in addition to Suheir's poem, Exotic.

Jezebel
Video Vixen
Tragic Mulatto
Black Siren
Super Freak

What do you think?

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