What Makes a Woman?

A remediated poem created of selected text from Elinor Burkett's opinion piece in the New York Times Sunday Review (June 6, 2015).


  1. Mentor Text

  2. Remediated Poem

  3. Do women and men have different brains?
  4. My brain is much more female than it is male
  5. [yet] I have fought against efforts to put women — our brains, our hearts, our bodies, even our moods — into tidy boxes
  6. [against] buying into the notion that minor differences in male and female brains lead to major forks in the road and that some sort of gendered destiny is encoded in us
  7. the kind of nonsense that was used to repress women for centuries
  8. People who haven’t lived their whole lives as women ... shouldn’t get to define us
  9. something men have been doing for much too long
  10. trampling on [my dignity] as a woman
  11. Their truth is not my truth.
  12. Their female identities are not my female identity.
  13. They haven’t traveled through the world as women and been shaped by all that this entails.
  14. They haven’t suffered ... terrified ... had to cope ... humiliation ... fear
  15. being a woman means having accrued certain experiences
  16. Brains are in fact shaped by experience
  17. bound, even strangled, by gender stereotyping
  18. The struggle to move beyond such stereotypes is far from over
  19. undermining women’s identities, and silencing, erasing or renaming our experiences