Genius Knows No Gender

Jackie DeHon, Ph.D.

Artificial boundaries
Force folks to perform
In a most unnatural way
To please one group or “norm”.
Thus so many untold millions’
Genius goes awry
Untapped–perhaps unknown to them–
Of course it isn’t wise!
Who among us can afford to
Simply throw away
More than half our earthly treasures
To follow ancient foolish ways?

Cultures coerce into hiding
Stellar talents of these folks,
Punish daring innovators
Make examples; call them “jokes”!
Yet it may be just this one
Who could engineer world peace.
Build new bridges. Temper anger.
Give a starving world a feast!

What a price a culture pays
When it forces gender roles.
Artificial histrionics–
Once designed by greedy souls–
Seeking to make others serve them
Always seeking to impose
Biased prejudice upon those
Who dare win against their foes!

Women in Higher Education
National Newsletter March 1999
Women & Language 1998 XXI(1) 57
Louisiana Equity Newsletter 1998
The Poet’s Link September 1999 2
Race Gender & Class Journal 2002 9(3) 157

Prisms: Refracting Light of Women’s Lives 2009

The above poem, Genius Knows No Gender, reflects my focus on gender equity. Other types of discrimination could fit in the place of gender–race, ethnicity, giftedness, class, age, size, sexual orientation, and so forth. When I originally recognized gender discrimination and knew that women had done nothing to deserve such treatment, I became a missionary for equity for all, reasoning that other persecuted groups probably did nothing to deserve unfair treatment either. Later as I broadened my understanding of the situation I realized that a small, elite, powerful ruling class works to keep groups divided so it can continue to rule and to make laws that serve its purposes. I’m pleased to report that many groups are realizing this, and we are working to break that elite-control so that we can all show respect and honor to one another–and so that we can truly celebrate diversity!

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