Treasure Island

Sojourner Truth

(1797-1883)

On Woman's Dress


I'm awful hard on dress, you know.
Women, you forget
that you are the mothers of creation;
you forget that your sons
were cut off like grass by the war,
and that the land was covered by their blood;
you rig yourselves up in panniers
and Grecian bend-backs
and flummeries;
yes and mothers
and gray-haired grandmothers
wear highheeled shoes
and humps on their heads,
and put them on their babies,
and stuff them out
so that they keel over when the wind blows.

O mothers,
I am ashamed of ye!
What will such lives
as you live do for humanity?
When I saw them women on the stage
at the Woman's Suffrage Convention,
the other day,
I thought,
What kind of reformers be you,
with goose-wings on your heads,
as if you were going to fly,
and dressed in such ridiculous fashion,
talking about reform and women's rights?

'Pears to me,
you had better reform yourselves first.
But Sojourner is an old body,
and will soon get out of this world
into another,
and wants to say
when she gets there,
Lord, I have done my duty,
and I have told the whole truth
and kept nothing back.

Submitted: Friday, September 03, 2010

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