Embroidery by Allie Lee, interpreting my poem, ‘In my day’ –
In my day, stockings came in black, bronze and American Tan.
Opening a bank account needed the signature of a man.
Vintage was plain old secondhand. Girdles held in sexual urges,
touching below the waist was no-go and Dusty passed as hetero.
There was no such thing as pubic hair wax and you daren’t use Tampax
or have a sexual climax for fear of being thought nymphomaniacs.
In my day, women were men’s property. There was no Equal Pay Act
till 1970. In the media Black women were only portrayed as maids
or African Royalty. Women had no rights to a husband’s pay,
‘housewife’ was a synonym for female, rape in marriage was
legally OK. To get the Birth Control Pill you had to be married
or you had to lie. In my day, abortion was a crime.
Nowadays a lesbian label can be a fashion accessory,
while gender binary is so last century. Nowadays we’re sold
sexploitation and feminisms of choice in the guise of liberation.
Nowadays age-defying procedures make us older women pixel perfect.
Because We’re Worth It. Nowadays, liberation is distorted into
fifty shades of grey and what was once hard-core porn is now
matter-of-fact everyday. So I navigate nowadays,
excavate my day, my day is nowadays. ‘In my day’ is NOW