by Gonzalinho da Costa
Who do you say that I am? You are the woman without property or inheritance rights, without the right to vote or to freedom of movement, to employment, health, or education, who is discriminated against because you are considered intrinsically inferior to males— The object of controlling and manipulative behavior by males at home, school, or work, wherever gender discrimination exists, The object of their verbal bullying, threats, isolation, or blame, of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, The object of harassment by stalkers—vengeful, love obsessed, erotomaniac, psychotic— The wife, daughter, girl, or mother raped or forced into sexual slavery during wartime, the victim of a state strategy of aggression, The victim of human trafficking, kidnapped, imprisoned, and then coerced into commercial pornography or prostitution, The victim of forced marriage by kidnapping, of forced pregnancy, of state breeding programs, The victim of the honor killings undertaken whenever a woman resists a prearranged marriage or wants to divorce her abusive husband, The widow killed by ritual suicide or murder, The child compelled to marry against her will, The child victim of rape, traumatized for life, The young woman assaulted by female genital mutilation, The female infant put to death because of religious, cultural, social, and economic discrimination, killed by drowning, suffocation, starvation, exposure, neglect, physical abuse, poisoning, whatever works, The fetus aborted because of the obnoxious cultural preference for male children, The poor and elderly woman convicted of witchcraft, drowned, hanged, or burned at the stake, The woman demeaned by body shaming, fat shaming, all forms of sexist ridicule— You are the Christ.
Gonzalinho da Costa’s poetry has been published in Vox Poetica, The Penmen Review, Poetry Pacific, Torrid Literature Journal, POETiCA REViEW, The Ekphrastic Review, Blue Heron Review, and many others. Gonzalinho da Costa is the pen name of Joseph I. B. Gonzales, a management, communication, research, statistics, and artificial intelligence consultant. He has graduate degrees in the humanities, management, communication, and statistics. He enjoys hiking, cycling, swimming, and skiing.