Patriarchy o Patriarchy – A Masculine Love Letter

I didn’t know at first, but I think the poem is actually written from the perspective of a man struggling with the patriarchy and how it’s influencing him and his behavior towards women. He wants to unite with the Free Women, the ones who have fought and freed themselves, but the patriarchy is trying to hold him back in a narcissistic manner, saying that he’s the love of it’s live and that it needs him. He dreams of the women who are and have been caged, also by themselves, and he mourns them and wants to find the key to cure them. But he’s also afraid, because he doesn’t know what will happen to him if he destroys the patriarchy inside and around him. He doesn’t know what will be left of him, and if he will be accepted when his heart says what it wants to say.

Tara Smeenk, 2021

Patriarchy, O Patriarchy, 
Why don’t you leave me, 
Why do you want to dance with me,
Without ever letting go. 

You say you love me,
You say you do,
Holding me in your arms so tight.
You want to kiss me,
And then you do,
And then we struggle through the night. 

When you sleep, 
I sing softly, 
About the Women who Wander Free,
I sing of their mothers,
I sing of their daughters,
And hear them singing back to me. 

I feel as if I’m one with them,
As if we can unite, 
But when you wake, 
It starts again,
The never-ending fight. 

Patriarchy, Dear Patriarchy,
What is it that you want from me?
And why me, and not him, or he?
What is it that I cannot see?

We dance and dance,
And I am hurting.
I am hurting them as well. 
We dance and dance,
And I am searching, 
Whirling through the gates of hell. 

And when I sleep,
I dream of Women, 
Locked in cages by themselves,
And when you wake me, 
I weep, and weep,
And try to find the key to health. 

You comfort me, 
You stroke my hair, 
And wipe my tears away.
You say that I’m the love of your life, 
And that you need me to stay. 

But what is living, 
If the warm, loving arms, 
Of a mother are too far away? 
And what is living, 
If my heart,
Cannot say what it wants to say? 

Therefore, I’m going to kill you.
Because the love of your life, I cannot be. 

But Patriarchy, damned Patriarchy,
There’s one more thing that frightens me.
If I’d manage to break free,
Where will that leave me be?