The Bane of Womanhood | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 26, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 26, 2017

The Bane of Womanhood

Oh woman, made from gold and fire. 

Chained into a dungeon 

of slaughtered dreams. 

Woman, you've been claimed to marry 

the moment you had been born red and squealing, enveloped within a towel. 

Woman, they asked, which man of such dishonour would take a woman so dark, light, emaciated and obese? 

Woman, you're taught to smile 

But not laugh. 

You're taught to whisper. 

And not shout.

Woman, of caramel skin, skin so raw,  stretched into platinum. You're taught to walk when you learn to run. 

Oh woman!

Whose dresses are sewn longer, threaded;

into disappointments, jewelled in  melancholy. 

Because, your body, you, too, they said, are made for fun. 


The men, they'll catch you, 

In your sleep, when you wake. 

For all a woman is made for is to please a man. 

So dream not too far, 

But behind a kitchen door and in golden shackles. 

Dream of children, because, woman, you were made to be a mother, 

When you wished not to be. 


They said, man and you are both shaped from mud, they said, 

But you, dirt!  


Your brothers are taught 

not to fight like a girl, so they blossomed into men who knew how to break legs when their wives stood straight on their own money toes. But oh woman, you thought you held her close! 

You are everything I wish I was and everything I am and more, you are the beacon of afire love. Eternal grace. You are strength. 

So woman, with songs of rebellion and poetry of ice. So woman, 

of purple scars and gasoline stench, 

So woman, all the times you've helped me cope. 

So woman, those chains are just as mine as they are yours;

Oh woman, my love,

You're my last hope. Oh woman, raise that voice of yours 

And my dear, let's escape.

The writer is a student of SFX Greenherald International School.

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