Sunday, February 05, 2017

Ella Chakarian wins Silver Key for her poem

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have announced their winners for 2017. Ella Chakarian from Holy Martyrs Armenian School in California was awarded a Silver Key for her poem Laughing at Feminism and another Silver Key for her short story Salt. Congratulations to Ella for these achievements.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7–12.

Laughing at Feminism

“Boys, looks like we’ve got a little respecting to do today.”
It was women’s equality day, when those words were said.
“Today?” we asked our history teacher. “Why not everyday?”
“Oh, I was just poking some fun,” replied the man, with a shrug.

Poking some fun.
I guess that’s our permission to laugh now.

Let us laugh, at the little girl down the street, ponytail high, dressed in pink,
Combing the hair of her slender Barbie doll,
Wishing she could someday be so happy, pearly teeth and all,
She’s starved herself, pushed bread away, stared down at scales, measured her waist,
Perfect here and perfect there, it wasn’t all right for her to be anything else,
When it was the only thing she was taught,
How could any of it be her fault?

Let us poke fun at that fully grown girl,
Pinching the remains of her blotchy, pink skin,
Wondering where all her Barbie doll curves went,
If she even had them to begin with.
Let’s sit and laugh as we watch her starve,
Starve not for food, but to feel something warm in her heart,
She’s eaten her pain and done her time,
To the prisoner society has trained her to become.

Let us poke fun at the millions of women just like her,
More so reminded of their “incapabilities” due to their gender,
The women who try and overcome double standards,
The constant reminder that things could be worse-
“At least we are first-world American girls,”
The truth that girls come with restrictions,
Like we are objects, assembled by instructions,
Instructions that read quiet, small, and pretty,
Judgment hurled towards those falling out of all those categories.

Let us poke fun at the victims of rape, survivors of assault,
After they have been stripped of something beyond their skin,
After their hearts have been hollowed from unforgivable sins,
After they are given a bruise that becomes bluer with every attempt to be contained.
Let’s laugh as they are consumed with the ideas,
That their clothes speak louder than their words,
There really is no difference between yes and no.

Let us poke fun at the feminist movement,
At the sacrifices made by intelligent, zealous women,
The very history you are supposed to teach us of,
The future you are supposed to prepare us to love.

Let us poke fun at white women, black women, small women, large women, women across the globe, the women in your very home,
The feminist movement.
Let us watch you, as we rise from slender Barbie dolls and sealed lips,
Blue bruises and sets of instructions,
As you run away, from the fun you’ve created.

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