By Kendra Holliday | March 8, 2013
Today is International Women’s Day.
My 12-year-old daughter’s teacher asked her to write a poem in honor of women everywhere.
Here is what she belted out in 15 minutes, using brains, a pencil, and wide-lined, loose-leaf paper:
What? You want me to stay home?
While you join the army,
Or hang out with your friends,
Or vote for my future?
Why can’t I choose what I do?
Let’s start with my body.
Why can’t I choose whether to or not I get an abortion?
It’s always you men saying yes or no,
But you’ll never even be having this baby.
It should be MY choice.
You tell me that I’m not pretty enough,
Because my breasts are too small.
Why should I care?
They are mine, and that’s
a god-given fact.
Do I need to fit what you call “perfect”?
And, what happened to human rights?
If I get raped
It’s MY fault?
I thought you told me to wear heels,
I thought you wanted me to wear a short, revealing skirt.
What about YOU?
You think that you can control us,
With rumors of “perfection” –
Do we need layers of lip gloss
And hair so thick and wavy,
That it’s like a river?
You THINK you can control me
With threats like, “I’ll leave you.”
There’s more to my life
Than cheap, fake romance.
I want the real deal.
Now let me say something about jobs.
Why do I get paid less than you?
Do I not work as hard in my eight hours of labor?
And why, may I ask you, am I not allowed
The same jobs and privileges as you?
Can I not be a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer?
Can I not be in politics because I have different anatomy?
And our country!
I’m not supposed to fight in wars?!
To fight for my family?
For my people?
Oh, I forgot,
I’m supposed to be at home,
Tending to my garden
And my husband.
If I’m not fitting standards,
If I’m a single mom
If I’m not afraid of being who I am,
Or if someone sees my body…
Then I have to suffer?
I am a WOMAN.
What are you?