I Am Womanhood – By Sarah Diallo on the International Women’s Day

I Am Womanhood

I was part of you from the moment you were conceived

When you nested in my womb – when you first breathed

I fed you, bathed you, dried your tears

Let me make this clear

I hold you very dear

But your domination and ferocity became my greatest fear

Reduced to nothing – I’ve lived in your shade

Belittled, dishonored, beaten and slayed  

Man please, stop and reflect

It’s time to show me some goddamn respect

You grew up with rights and freedom of choice

I grew up restricted and with a silenced voice

With an invisible border around me – I could never cross the line

My life story was written by a hand that was not mine

Comply, subject, obey and serve

Is not my purpose – and it’s NOT what I deserve

Man please, stop and reflect

It’s time to show me some goddamn respect

History is endlessly repeating itself

But now time’s forces drive me to rebel

I have been going through hell

Wake up and smell

The stench of flesh burning at the stake

Feel the hurled stones

Hear the sound of bones that break

The sizzle and crackle of acid thrown to disfigure

The key in the door and a heavy breath of liquor

Kicked to the floor – kids, hurry and hide!

See the blood stains from where I struggled and died

Man please, stop and reflect

It’s time to show me some goddamn respect

Maybe you shrug and think, oh, that’s not me

I never hit or abused anyone, you see

But assault and repression can be subtle and sly

Exclusion, disgraceful comments, an unwelcomed hand on the thigh

And dare I say

An unequal pay

A household where the responsibilities are not the same

Governments and corporations where it’s not a fair game

Shame and silent blame for igniting your sexual flame

Man please, stop and reflect

It’s time to show me some goddamn respect

And all privileged women – acknowledge – the struggle is real

The fight for justice is far, far from a done deal

If you turn inwards – listen carefully – you can hear my silent cry

Are you unaffected or are you just turning a blind eye?

Are you preserving your pride by claiming you have never been victimized?

Can you truly say that your boundaries have never been compromised?

If so, you are exceptionally fortunate and blessed

And you should use this power to stand up for your sisters who are still oppressed

Man, in unity we were meant to stand

Let’s ban all supremacism, egotism, sexism, male chauvinism

Stop the misogynistic rage – turn the page

With both our pen – we can start over again

Write a new narrative of dignity and equality

Of support, empathy and spirituality

Man please – it’s time to reconnect

And I will open my heart to your love and respect

 

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