Posted tagged ‘Mommy lobby poem’

Hobby Lobbied

June 30, 2014
Johannes Vermeer, "Woman Holding a Balance",  around 1665

Johannes Vermeer, “Woman Holding a Balance”, around 1665

Hobby Lobbied

Amazingly close to the date she gave birth, my mother,
who never showed,
applied for a job.
She held a large purse
over that part of her
that was me
because her soon-to-be employer
automatically paid new mothers
substantially reduced pay,
whether or not they missed
a single workday.

When she started the job,
three months after I was born,
my mother kept mum about me
for more than a year, not alluding to my
existence all day, any day,
so that she would be paid
in full.

The employer believed, see,
that new mothers
should stay at home.
I’d like to believe that my mother
would have stayed home if she could,
but the fact is
my mother needed to work
for the money
and for more than
the money.

But my mother’s needs are not wholly the point
of this poem.
The point, which I would like to be sharper
than any knitting needle–certainly sharp enough
to pierce the corporate veil–is that I–and every woman I know–
have been affected by this crap since
before we were even born.

Employers are not
intrauterine devices.

Corporations are formed
to make money, my friend,
and to limit the losses of
those making it,
while women are formed for more
than making
babies,
as wonderful as
they are, as lost as we would be
without them.

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Here’s a poem of sorts written in reaction to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision today.  (The photo above if of a painting by Johannes Vermeer, woman holding a balance.)    I think it’s bad law;  I commend Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for her intelligent and spirited dissent.