By Stephani Twidwell

I will never be Venus
de Milo,
a silent trophy
a possession of men
of manufactured beauty

I am Venus of
Malala, of Steinem,
a voice rising above
the forced muzzle of
an outdated patriarchy

I will never be Venus
of Willendorf,
celebrated for the value
of only the fruit I bare
a symbol of fertility

I am Venus of
Kahlo, of O’Keeffe,
a creature of vision
and creating beauty
out of defiance

I will never be Venus
of Urbino,
an object for men to discuss,
a possessive expectation of
what a woman should be

I am Venus of
Payne, of Curie,
hellbent on understanding
the world we live in
and the stars beyond.

We are Venus
of now,
and we will build on the
small victories and voices
of the past because the
future is female.


Stephani Twidwell is an artist, writer, and chronic idealist. Stephani has studied art at Cornish College of the Arts and Central Saint Martins. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Washington State University, where she received awards for her writing and graduated with honors. 

Related Articles