activism, Featured, gender, Poetry

9pm Curfew


“What would you do if all men had a 9pm curfew?” She asks the world.
The world responds.

I would walk at night with music in my ears.
I would shop for groceries after my kids are in bed.
I would stay late in the lab.
Lay on the grass and see all the stars.
Lay across the warm hood of my car.
Sleep in my front yard all summer long.

I would not carry my keys like claws.
I would pitch a tent beside my favorite waterfall.
Run on the trail until my legs give out.
Sleep where I land.

I would ride the bus.
Take a road trip.
Leave the map.
Pull over when I’m tired and take a nap.
Go hear the bands play.
Dance the way I want.
Walk away from my drink.
Walk with no bra.
With no smile.
With the biggest smile of all.
I would walk in the city.
Walk in the forest.
Walk to my car in the parking lot.
I would walk at night with music in my ears
looking up at the sky
or never looking up at all.

Image: Karina Llergo, Dare

@DanielleMuscato on Twitter posed this question in October of last year: “Ladies, a question for you: ‘What would you do if all men had a 9pm curfew?’ Dudes: Read this thread and pay attention.”

As with so many thought exercises attempting to illuminate the experience of a group that lives under a constant threat of violence, the trolls came screaming onto the field. They charged Muscato with misandry, reverse sexism, and straight-up idiocy. They made sure to explain all the reasons it would never work.

Because of course we need to have the foolishness of our ideas pointed out in detail. Because we need reminding that men with any self-respect would never submit to such unfair limitations on their freedom.


2 thoughts on “9pm Curfew”

  1. The challenge: to start
    not with theory but with tangible performance

    You and others, approaching

    We shall be asked for a way out

    to be fed

    to keep warm and dry

    Starting with experience, magic
    genuine science

    More than once we have been lost
    in a trackless wilderness

    dwarfed and shadowed by mighty buildings
    subway trains wild as elephants

    One goes blindly back to one’s desk

    These moments come, their dark

    We glimpsed control
    and more tragic waste

    We entered with 40,000,000 warriors
    with the dignity of cathedrals

    The lake is upon you.
    You have two canoes, your tent
    The child has entered upon this desert

    You have your axes

    What, precisely, is your procedure?

    Anna Moschovakis, “[The challenge: to start]”

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