Liberating Words: “Blonde Moments”

The poems contained in this series, “Liberating Words,” came out of an interdisciplinary course for high school juniors at The Winsor School, an all-girls school in Boston. The course, “The Personal Is Political:  An Interdisciplinary Look at Feminism,” is co-taught by Libby Parsley, a history teacher, and Susanna Ryan, an English teacher. The second unit of the course focuses on the history and literature of second-wave feminism: the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s and ’70s. Students read a compilation of poems by women writers from that period and then wrote their own poems; the assignment asked them to represent an issue or problem they see as central to 21st-century women’s experience through the very personal genre of poetry.

Blonde Moments

By Isabel Macenka

When someone is foolish
Dull-witted and slow

When one loses her keys
And forgets how to spell

They call it a blonde moment.
(yes, blonde, not blond,
the feminine form,
with an “e.”)

I am a blonde
A blonde with an “e”
I travel the world
And I speak some Chinese.

My life is blonde moments,
One after another
I have thousands each day
And hundreds each hour.

When I study physics
And hair falls in my face

When I summit a mountain
And stand in the breeze

I call it a blonde moment.

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Photo courtesy of Flickr user Alex Naanou licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

Isabel Macenka is a junior at the Winsor School. She is a blonde, a dressage rider and an aspiring mathematician.