My Daughter is Today’s Sojourner Truth

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?

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?


DH 2013-03-08 09:27:24

WOAH!!! That’s… wow. Here’s to your girl living the real deal one day!


fuzzilla 2013-03-08 12:19:11



Kendra Holliday 2013-03-08 12:52:42



ChasH 2013-03-08 17:11:54

Right subject, right position. Right.


Mildred 2013-03-08 19:47:50

Your daughter is so bright! So Incredible for a girl of her age.


Chuck 2013-03-08 22:35:59

Comments from two women that I shared the poem with:

** It saddens me that these issues are still cause for concern. We thought we had changed all that back in the ’70s.

** Well, at least she’s questioning the assumptions others make (even though I agree she shouldn’t still have to).


    Kendra Holliday 2013-03-09 20:08:33

    Thank you for sharing it with others! And I know what they mean – it’s weird this is still a timely topic in 2013!


Stephen 2013-03-09 04:31:22

Please don’t be surprised or shocked or unsupportive when your daughter turns 15 and her boyfriend is 22. Or turns 17 and her boyfriend is 32. Or turns 19 and her boyfriend is 42.

You’re raising an overeducated old soul, and that’s the penance for such.


Krystalargo de Lindachrist 2013-03-09 12:40:44

Please, this poem is awesome, and I would like to get permission to print it on my new website that I am just developing called: “Women World Wide For Peace.” To whom can I sent a request for permission to use????



    Kendra Holliday 2013-03-09 19:28:35

    Sure, thanks for asking! If you republish it, please credit a 12-yr-old girl from the Midwest whose alias is “Thorn”. 🙂 And share the link with us!


mo 2013-03-11 12:07:18

your daughter is amazing. please pass on my poetry-reading finger snaps, hugs, and applause for her powerful, well-written piece, and for her wisdom and boldness beyond her years. ( from a girl with a mohawk twice her age, rooting for her) 🙂


The F Word 2013-03-27 00:52:23

I am so happy and proud to know her. She’s grown up into such an awesome, intelligent young woman!


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