Alba – I Want To Hold You
Alba Quintero Retis
Which student are you?
College Student (The World)
Name of School
New York University
Grade / Year in School
Location (City, State/Province, Country)
New York City
If you identify with an ethnicity or culture(s), which one or ones do you identify with?
Latin American/ Hispanic
What is the name of your legal guardian/parent (if under 18)?
Please provide contact information for your legal guardian/parent (if under 18)
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Please select type of project you are entering
What is the title of your project?
I Want To Hold You
Please tell us about your submission (maximum 600 words)
My poem "I Want To Hold You" is a love letter to male-identifying people. It is an acknowledgement of the complexity of masculinity, and the gender norms that hold "men" to impossible standards. This poem celebrates and appreciates the traits that are deemed unmanly and weak. I invoke the relationship of mother, daughter, and grandmother because I think the feminine relationships that one has can open up avenues of feeling and being that a traditional masculine person may not have naturally. I also wanted to touch on the idea of chivalry as a means of taking advantage of women, and twisting it so that it is just a gesture of love and kindness, and that in this post-patriarchal world I'm creating, we are both equals, standing together and healing together. The fire refers to the anger and violence that has plagued our world, the kind that has started wars, killed millions and harmed our planet. In the end, I encourage the idea of community and communal healing, planting seeds of tenderness and love to regrow an Earth that has suffered from a Patriarchal society.
What is something you learned about patriarchy and what is something you would like to change about what you learned?
I have learned how deeply rooted patriarchy is. Not just in our society and the way that men are valued more than women, but in all its intersectionality, and the way we each have internalized some hurtful way of perceiving gender and our identities. I would like to make this information more accessible and digestible for everyone, especially for individuals that are frightened by the words patriarchy, feminism, and capitalism. There are many terms that we use to describe systems that carry such a negative stigma that just hearing them will trigger negative reactions from people. I would love to be able to hold space for all kinds of thought and have respectful and productive conversations on how to best navigate the world if patriarchy did not rule it.