A Feminist Utopia

By Eloise Anagnost, TIWP Student

“Remember to imagine and craft the worlds you cannot live without,
just as you dismantle the ones you cannot live within.” — Ruha Benjamin

Thomas More wrote Utopia in 1516,
an ode to an imagined world
without poverty,
religious intolerance,
and corrupt governments.
And thus the word
“utopia”
was born.
But this idealistic,
seemingly perfect,
world
belongs to him.
The utopian fantasies,
utopian societies,
utopian worlds,
All
belong
to him.
The word itself has been prefabricated to support
his world,
a man’s world.
Sure, go ahead and pretend that we
can make it our own
when you know we can’t.
Sure, call our dreams unrealistic,
unattainable.
Reduce them to harmless drops of rain,
forming a bothersome puddle in the mud,
when they deserve to be oceans.
Sure, pretend to make communities more “equal”
with your ever-present leadership,
and tell us we couldn’t do better
because we just don’t
understand what is best.
Sure, call our ideas
and utopias
“radical” when we assert that certain lives are being neglected.
Go ahead and shut down our idea of a utopian world,
because all your actions simply become
loads of wood
for our fire.
You only continue to prove
that the word “utopia”
does not mean everyone
has the freedom to live their imaginations,
and our fires become more powerful,
feeding off your disregard.
We still remember that your fires were simply handed to you, made by flint and stone —
only for you to use this power to burn us down,
only for you to turn this power into destruction,
to break us again,
and again,
and again,
while we’ve had to build our fire in the rain.
So sure, go ahead and teach us
about Thomas More’s Utopia.
Tell us what equality looks like.
Brush us aside
because the sky is beginning to clear
and the clouds and less grey.
The storm is almost over
and the rain is reduced to sprinkles
as we sit,
tending to our fire,
adding more wood.
And when the sun comes out,
we’ll be ready.
Not for destruction,
or fear,
overbearance or corruption.
No, you’ve done enough of that.
We’ll be ready to write our own utopias.

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