31 Days of Revolutionary Women, #26: To Womxn’s Work Unknown

In honor of Women’s History Month, we present 31 Days of Revolutionary Women; a series of daily essays by local authors documenting, honoring and celebrating powerful women who inspire us in South Seattle and beyond.

by Nikkita Oliver

Womxn are always on the frontlines of revolution—be that in our bodies, on our bodies or with our bodies; be that with our hearts, our minds, our spirits, our prayers; be that in our homes, at the protest, on the job, walking the sidewalk, in the stores; be that with our families, our children, our partners, our communities, the many peoples and places we nurture day in and day out, in the light and in the dark, with our hands and our hearts—womxn are always on the front lines.

We scarcely recognize it, but patriarchy is one of the first and oldest forms of oppression. It is a pervasive beast. See how it rapes and pillages our Mother. See how it desensitizes us till we become complacent with its mischief and mistreatment of our grandmothers, our mothers, our aunties, our sisters, our daughters. See how it teaches us exclusion and exploitation; to push out the trans womxn and the two spirit amongst us. See how we miss out on the beauty and the revolution that is simply being womxn.

Being womxn, however one defines this for herself, in today’s world is, in and of itself, a revolutionary act. All womxn by virtue of living as the womxn we choose to be are therein revolutionaries.

So let us remember

the hands unseen

unknown to the texbook

unremembered by the historian


She’s got the whole world in her hands

swaddled and lying in a manger

no room for her in the inn

still watch how she makes

73 cents to the dollar

multiply like fishes

bounty so full

she can’t help but smash

the glass ceiling


Let us remember the stolen,

murdered, lost and forgotten

indigenous womxn

let us honor this land

and this water

birth of a nation on her back

let us remember womxn of color

not just locally but globally

call forth the matriarchs


Pour out libation for black womxn

who bring us up on their ancestors

waters still giving

care take generations not their own

as if they were their own

and still have more to give


Let us remember

our sister in the scarf

no different than the sister without one

her feminism is no less visible

no less powerful

her feminism is her right

to choose to cover her head


Let us remember

trans womxn’s rights

are womxn’s rights

are huemxn rights

whats rights is right

and it’s wrong

if they ain’t alright too


Let us remember

the womxn of the global south

the working poor

the cash poor

those for whom the struggle

is more than a catchphrase

who tear their teeth on oppression daily

for whom 73 cents makes more sense

yet it is still less than dollar


Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere

it all makes me want to holler for all the womxn

we forget


So let us also remember

our sisters in chains,

caged with no end date

let us march

round walls and borders

till they can’t make sense anymore

till they can’t deport anymore

till they can’t police our bodies anymore


Let us remember

the queer and the femmes

those for whom gender is fluid

flexed and changing

you, we, womxn

spelled on purpose with an “x”

are more than a check gender box


Womxn is spirit

and we honor

the grandmothers,

the mothers,

the sisters,

the aunties,

the soul sisters


Who hold

our hands,

our hair,

our hearts


Who remind us

our true value

is more than

the sum of our parts

cannot be divided


We be intersectional

we beyond measure

beyond makeup

beyond clothing

beyond profit


We cannot be monetized

will not be militarized

will not be occupied

will not be capitalized upon


We, womxn warriors,

on the front lines

holding our hearts

to the earth

to our Mother

from whom all life

springs forth into creation


Let us remember

the hands unseen

the womxn’s work

unknown to the texbook

unremembered by the historian

unexamined by the spotlight

yours is the warmest touch

unseen yet forever felt


Nikkita Oliver is a Seattle-based creative, teaching artist, and anti-racist organizer. She is an attorney and holds a Masters of Education from the University of Washington where she studied racial disproportionality and disparate impact in school exclusion. Nikkita is a writer-in-residence with Writers in the Schools at Washington Middle School and Franklin High School. Additionally, she is a teaching artist and case manager with Creative Justice–an arts-based alternative to incarceration. Nikkita has recently entered the Seattle Mayoral race as the People’s Party candidate.

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