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The Goddess' Chant

Excerpt from the play: THE LAST OF THE RED HOT MAMMAS, OR, THE LIBERATION OF WOMEN AS PERFORMED BY THE INMATES OF THE WORLD (1969) This play was performed at the founding convention of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union. A play performed by an entire audience, and by Marylee A., Ellen A., Amy C., Pat M. Sherry Jenkins, Amy Kesselman, Naomi Weisstein (1969)

I am all women, I am every woman.
Wherever women are suffering,
I am there.
Wherever woman are struggling,
I am there.
Wherever woman are fighting for their liberation,
I am there.

I am at the bedside of the woman giving birth,
screaming in labor;
I am with the women selling their bodies
in third world countries so
that her children may eat;
I am with the woman selling her
body in the streets of american cities
to feed the habit she acquired
from her boyfriend.

I am with the woman who never sees
the light outside her kitchen;
I am with the woman who never sees
the light outside her factory;
I am with the woman whose fingers
are still from endless typing and
whose legs ache from the high heels
she must wear to please her boss.

I am with the woman bleeding to death
on the kitchen table
of a quack abortionist;
I am with the woman answering
endless questions of
the inquisitive caseworkers;
and I am with the caseworkers,
whose dreams of making a new
social order have long been smothered
in the endless bureaucracy,
the endless forms, the racism of their superiors.

I am with the beauty queen
painting her face and spraying
her hair with poison;
I am with the black prostitute
straightening her hair
and lightening her skin;
I am with the young child
for whom an apron is the only thing
she has been taught to dream of;
I am at the hospital where a
beaten child is being treated for wounds
caused by a mother driven
by desperation past sanity,
past compassion;
I am with the fourty-five-year-old file clerk,
raped and strangled in her one-room walkup.

I am with all women; I am all women,
and our struggle grows

I am with the welfare mothers
who will not be turned away
by the indifferent legislators;
I am with the airline stewardesses
fighting to retain their jobs
after they reach thirty
and their market value has decreased;
I am with the sistah hexing Wall Street
and the bridal fairs and the beauty contests;
I am with women struggling everywhere.

and where there are women too beaten down to fight,
I will be there;
and we will take strength together.
Everywhere: for we will have a new world,
a just world, a world without
oppression and degradation.

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