With Little Steps

A Response to Bechdel Project's Culture Bending

After attending our Culture Bending Workshop at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival., Ms Welser wrote this response.

With Little Steps…

It was just another acting studio, and it was just another game.

It wasn’t designed to ostracize or to assign blame.

It wasn’t difficult to do or hard to understand.

You didn’t have to talk or use your hands.

We were just taking little steps…

Steps forward and back.

Don’t ask how many,

it was hard to keep track.

We were asked a question and then we made our move.

We had nothing to hide and nothing to prove.

We were just taking little steps…

We were asked questions before our steps were took.

Questions like “Step forward if your family has more than fifty books”

“Step back if you’ve been sexually assaulted”

“Step forward if you went to college”

By taking steps, our differences were acknowledged.

But we were just taking little steps…

By the end of the game,

I looked around the space To see that everyone was standing in a different place.

And the room felt hollow, and it pained my heart To see that everyone stood so far apart.

But we were just taking little steps…

It humbled me to realize that I had been so blind That so many people stood so far behind.

That I was one of those people,

who stood towards the back.

That I was separated from the rest of the pack.

Yet there were still so many women who stood behind me

Women of every race, age, and ethnicity.

I looked at my feet and realized in fear That it only took little steps to bring us here.

Step forward.

Step forward.

Step back. Step back. Step Back.

Forward. Forward.

Back. Back. Back.

Forward. Forward.

Back. Back. Back.

Little steps, acted like a traps

Traps that maintained race and gender gaps.

As I looked around the room, I thought “we can do better”.

If little steps brought us apart, they could bring us together.

Because of the Bechdel Project, I am consciously aware Of the discrimination I didn’t realize was there.

To make change in the world, it doesn’t take a lot of prep,

It all begins with one little step.