Why God Is a Woman by Nin Andrews


25607518Why God Is a Woman is a collection of poems written about a magical island where women rule and men are the second sex. It is also the story of a boy who, exiled from the island because he could not abide by its sexist laws, looks back with both nostalgia and bitterness and wonders: Why does God have to be a woman? Celebrated prose poet Nin Andrews creates a world both fantastic and familiar where all the myths, logic, and institutions support the dominance of women.


Jen Campbell defines prose poetry perfectly: instead of watching the movie of a novel it’s like wandering through an art gallery, pausing before each painting to soak up its beauty.  The poems are indeed beautiful, but also so much more – in turns deep and funny and skewering.

What am I doing here? he asked God.  And Why am I so small compared to the sky, so hairless and weak compared to the rest of the animals, so mortal and lost compared to You?  Night after night man raged against God, until at last She grew tired of listening to him.  And so God created orgasms.  After every orgasm, man fell into a sleep, deeper than the sleep of stones.  And God at last was able to gain some peace of mind.  But that was when woman began to complain.

In this world men are said to be descended from angels, and grow wings once they reach puberty.  They sprout from their backs leaving embarrassing trails of blood, and the men use absorbent pads to hide their shame.  Women are said to have risen from the sea and are the elite, the politicians, any one that holds any scrap of power.  By turning gender roles on their head Andrews does more than merely satirize, she shows that binary gender norms are by their nature arbitrary and absurd.

If you need a little more convincing check out Jen’s review on youtube but if not – go. Read.  It’s amazing.