The F Word 

On day 8 of NaPoWriMo my thoughts turn to feminism and why it’s so important in the fight for a better more equal world. I thank my friend and fellow SNP member Lorna Craig (pictured with me at the 2016 SNP Equalities Conference) for suggesting this idea and a certain teenager  in my local church for inspiring me to believe she really can change the world. I hope you enjoy the read. 

The F Word 

This f word is not a sexual act 

it is a word used to promote a vision of a better society

by using simple facts 

to explain why women need equality 

and why we are determined to get it 

yet some girls have been socially conditioned 

to resent it 

the right wing press demonise it 

claiming it is half baked and does nothing for women 

that titled nobility can’t do better 

this agenda is designed to keep women in poverty 

voiceless in a Dickensian  style democracy 

where they are cooking, cleaning , and occasionally dreaming 

of a better life than this picture presents 

this f word empowers us  

to reject the idea that we should be tied to  kitchen sinks

and teaching girls that to wear pink 

should be their ultimate aspiration

in life 

telling them to watch

This Morning and the Real Housewives of wherever 

is neither smart nor clever 

girls have the right to get educated and persue a career 

the idea that women should smile sweetly 

if a man open doors and calls them dear 

not reply I as I once did 

that I wasn’t dear just expensive 

or high maintenance 

is totally and completely wrong 

I get angry at the sexism in the outdated suggestion 

we should restrain ourselves 

and be modest at all times 

especially in our fashion choices

we shouldn’t  raise our hemlines

let alone our voices in anger 

that some girls are missing school 

because of lack of access 

to female sanitary products 

this is abhorrent in the 21st century 

yet the tabloids still show women bearing breasts on page 3

for the titillation of white van bloke 

this is no joke 

if girls can be objectified in this way 

it’s no surprise we are still denied equal pay for equal work 

tackling these patriarchal structures 

is something we can’t afford to shirk 

or another generation of girls 

will be sentenced to the death of their dreams 

not fulfilling their potential 

or being as influential as society needs them to be 

in shaping and creating a better world for us all 

this f word is not just a word

it’s a call to arms to advance women’s rights 

we must use this word as a weapon 

in the struggle for fairness 

it will be key in defeating the couldn’t care less brigade 

the bullshit battalion of the apathetic army 

and this why every mammy

 should teach their daughters its power 

when used wisely womanhood will flower like never before 

this is a word we can’t ignore 

have you guessed it yet ? 

do you know it’s name ? 

did they blame you for using it 

call you a lesbian or communist 

a traitor or fifth columnist 

for standing against the established way of thinking 

if they do any or all of these things 

ask them why they are so afraid of feminism ? 

the F Word that chills them to the  bone 

©Gayle Smith 2017 


2 thoughts on “The F Word 

  1. You are right Gayle when you say ‘the F word is not just a word’. Poems like this are very important because they empower the word feminism. I would like to think that every mammy would teach their daughters and their sons about feminism. I know that I do. It’s a shame that some people think that feminism is a bad word (just like the other F word) and that’s why we need strong feminist wummin like you to write poems about it.

    • Hey Angela. I thought making a play on the F word would be a good way to get people to think of feminism from a slightly different perspective. Feminism, is not a swear word yet the patriarchy would like us to see it as one and continually use it as a term of abuse rather than promote the value of the more equal society it aspires to create.

      Love And Best Wishes
      Gayle X

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