The Discontinuity at the Waistline: My #MeToo Poems by Marion Deutsche Cohen is a collection of poems focusing on everyday micro-aggressions many women face throughout their lives, from pre-adolescence to adulthood. Wonderful in the way it details the author’s early experiences using images from childhood and dreams, transitioning into becoming a married woman and a mother, and depicting her strength and bravery as a woman, this collection sheds light on many realities of women in this world and their stories which are necessary and important to share.
An early review by Beth O’Brien of Mad Hatter Reviews states, “Throughout the collection, the description of unwanted male attention and the ability to politely say no without damaging a man’s ego are demonstrated with great accuracy. Moreover, Cohen highlights the sexual expectations women often feel compelled to conform to, both in and out of relationships... Ultimately, this collection is a hard-hitting read but overwhelmingly necessary. Cohen states at the end of the collection, ‘I have never been raped or assaulted but there were things I didn’t want to do’. Through her poetry Cohen validates the feelings and concerns of her younger self who is surely not alone in these experiences.”
By validating what she herself experienced from such a young age, Cohen also validates the experiences of all women who have ever felt uncomfortable in the presence of a man or under expectation from society. We live in a world where culture defines much of the way we act, and this is a subject that Cohen hones on with resilience, unafraid to look at these issues in the face and speak for all those who are still remaining silent. This book highlights all the ways the author is able to eagerly echo the battle cry that so many woman and assault survivors have taken up with, “Me Too!” and gives reason for the reader to journey with her as she travels back, examining everything from her dreams to her sexual habits which are shaped by growing up in a society that has unrealistic and often absurd expectations of what it means to be a woman.