By Ema Mondragón

on january 24, 2018, USA gymnastics team doctor and michigan state university physician, larry nassar, was sentenced to 175 years in prison after being accused of sexually abusing over 300 girls

this number has recently moved closer to 500

before his sentencing, nassar wrote a letter to judge rosemarie aquilina which she chose to reference in court to justify her ultimate decision stating that this man simply had no respect for women 

within his letter, in the parts where he was not vindictively victim blaming his juvenile patients, nassar condescendingly used the phrase “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”

and boy, was he right

throughout my life i have seen the women around me shoved into tiny flowered boxes tied with pretty pink ribbons

i have seen them planted forcefully into molten glazed pots not large enough to allow their roots to grow or thrive  

i have seen them confined into kitchen pantries with locked doors and nothing but dirty dishes and unfolded laundry to pass time 

i have seen them suffer, and hurt, and be silenced 

but i have watched these same women cut those ribbons with knives carved from a desire for autonomy and independence 

i have watched their roots grow nevertheless cracking clay and ceramics and allowing their petals to blossom and bloom

i have watched them smash their locks with the sparks of an experienced welder and renounce their titles of domesticity 

i have watched them overcome, and fight, and prosper 

because hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

you see, women are the unforgiving sun that burns and blisters your skin when you’re around longer than they want you to be 

women are the heatwaved blurs along the asphalt that will melt your ice cream cones and defrost your iced tea in the summer without a second thought 

women are the loose sparks leaping from the campfire that ignite the dry brush around your sleeping tents

women have more power in them than fire, and stars, and suns 

because hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

aly raisman, simone biles, my mother 

audrey hepburn, oprah winfrey, my aunt 

serena williams, michelle obama, my older sister 

malala yousafzai, laverne cox, my best friend 

the women who when thrown into pits of snakes did not succumb to the venom, but emerged like medusa

fierce and unbothered 

because hell hath no fury like a woman scorned 

so the next time that you bruise the flesh and break the bones of a woman who denies your advances or questions your authority 

the next time that you dismiss her thoughts and opinions because her hormones invalidate her knowledge and wisdom 

the next time that you write legislation depriving the safety and health of her body though it has nothing to do with yours 

the next time that you place a mentor, a trainer, a coach, a physician, a doctor, into power only to enable him by silencing his victims

don’t say i didn’t warn you when you are engulfed by her flames 

because hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

“Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned” was written in a chaotic outburst of internal passion. I had recently watched a documentary about the survivors of the USA Gymnastics scandal and was in the midst of reliving the anger and frustration that had consumed me when the news first broke out. That, combined with an immense appreciation for the powerful women around me, inspired me to somehow assemble a small piece of art to tie it all together. This slam poem serves as reminder of the strength of the abused victims, as an ode to the goddesses who have raised me to become the woman I am today, and as a personal reminder that the power of united femininity is unfathomable.