To my yet-to-be-conceived daughter.

When they tell you that you have a void in your pants in place of your independence, you will tell them that your independence lies in the creases of your fingertips and at the tip of your tongue.

When they tell you that there’s a bulge in your chest in place of your freedom, you will tell them that freedom beats at a steady lub dub  beneath your ribs.

When they tell you that you are a forbidden entity and bound you to chains shaped by their sick society, you will tell them you are as holy as a baby’s first breath.

When they tell you that you are one third of your male counterpart, you will tell them that your head will always be held as high as your brothers’.

Never lower.

Never sheepish, never hesitant.

You will be stronger than a lightening bolt. You will not be blind. You will wave away diamond rings and find your own shine. You will marry your dreams and solemnly swear I do to the stars nestled behind your eyelids. You will be fearless.

Your passionate nature will not disable you. The length of your hair will not define you. The curves of your silhouette will not make or unmake you. Your voice will be as loud as a lioness’s roar. Your hands will always keep slaving away for more. For better.

You will be better. You will not be afraid; you will not depend on luck or your ancestors’ names. You will not be degraded; you will not stand down. You will make something of yourself and always stand your ground. You will never know what it means to be thought of as “less”

– like I did. Like my mother and my sisters did.

My little girl, promise me that you will never be silenced. Swear that you will never allow your tribe’s honor to burden your back. And when the whole world rests on your shoulders, never allow your knees to kiss the floor. Invite it in wholly. Let it sink into your skin. It will disappear in shame once it sees the universes you hold within.

I don’t know you yet. And we may never get to meet.

But I know that if you come to be, you will get to bathe in your own brilliance. You will dress yourself in grace. You will care more about your future than the color of your nails.

I will watch you soar up into the sky using wings you’ve built up all on your own. You will show everyone that there is wisdom in your voice; not shame, and that there is beauty in your face; not disgrace. I will build you up with bricks I’ve had thrown at my face.

I will teach you to be human. I will teach you to be kind.

I will give you all the strength in me that I have had to hide.


And when they feed you hideous lies, darling, and when they tell you that you are a diamond or a pearl in their eyes, tell them that’s not what you want to be.

Tell them your mother taught you that you are a woman.


15 thoughts on “Woman

  1. Reblogged this on Life Gives You Lemons, Law School gives you hives and commented:
    So i try and keep my blog strictly law school related as that was the purpose behind me having one at all. However most women, in law school or not have felt the gender divide at some point in their life. Sometimes it is easy to ignore, more often that not we feel it like bee stings, poking at us regardless of how we harden our exterior. I don’t know the woman (i’m assuming it is a woman) who wrote this, but a friend of mine forwarded this post to me and… It’s moving. inspiring even. I just thought I’d share, and thank her for her thoughts.

  2. This is so beautiful! I have shared it on my Facebook page. As an abuse survivor and advocate I am honored to stand with you. I was able to share my message at a recent TEDx conference, and have heard from women all over the world. Let’s raise our collective voices, break through the silence and be the sound of change.

  3. One of my friends just posted a link to this entry on facebook. I love this, so, so much. Your writing and poetry is amazing, and the strength and message in this piece is absolutely inspiring. It makes me feel so proud to be a woman (prouder than usual!). If I ever have a daughter, I would want her to read this.
    I took a quick look at your other poems, and already I cannot wait to find some free time to really sit down and read them. You are an amazing poet. Words like these will move worlds.

  4. Beautiful, beautiful poem. My prayers are with you and all of the women in the Middle East!!

  5. This is a beautiful piece. I have heard men talk about us woman and pigeonhole us on the basis of our hotness or the size of our breasts or if they were a bit more generous to our pretty or ugly faces. I have seen men objectify us and thing of us as things they can ravage in bed and it makes me sick. Every time a boy looks at my chest instead of my eyes while talking to me I think to myself ” poor chap, he will never realize the sheer beauty of a woman, he will never understand the power they hold within them, he will never see us as equals, his inflated male ego and raging testosterone levels will keep him from being some girl’s best friend, confidant, soul mate, he will always be a lecherous animal. ogling, fantasizing”.
    I hope some day our capability will be seen before the size of our breasts and asses. I hope some day we will be able to walk down any street, in any part of the world alone without fearing for our safety.

  6. I hope..that too..
    But for now it feels like as if we have lived in a world of zombies..who’re insane in the minds… Wolves at heart..and Beasts in what makes them a man..atleast that’s what they like to believe in..
    When I look at a 6-yr old playful baby girl .. I no longer smile..but I FEAR!!

  7. I was at Argeela Bar, Kuwait last Friday when you recited this. I had to blink back tears. This piece is soul-stirring and inspiring. I wish some of the women I know would realize that they’re worth more, put their foot down and stop accepting the way they’re treated, instead of taking it as a part of life. I’m disgusted with the way the media objectifies women and I hope our species wakes up to this fact.
    It was such a pleasure to see you live. I hope I see you again at another event in Kuwait, for now I’ll be content with checking out your blog and following you on Twitter :)

  8. I will keep this article for my girl and read it for her one day . Your are brilliant , thank you

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