I Learned to Live Like a Woman (Not a Person)

They asked me to smile

They said they  loved my legs

They stared at me for a while

Felt like my body was a curse
They asked if I had a man

They wanted my number

Hairy and filthy hands

Thats all I can remember
I learned to live like a woman

Not a person

They told me it’s a price I have to pay
I tried to cover my body

They still had something to say

Changed my route so they won’t see me

There were others like them anyway
A sound, a word, a statement

Foolishly meant to be a compliment

Would quickly drive away my patience

But I learned to deal with it
I learned to live like a woman

Not a person

They told me it’s a price I have to pay
I owed them a smile

A conversation

I owed them my time

I had no option
My body wasn’t my own

It was their entertainment

They wouldn’t leave me alone

They would always leave a comment
I changed all my habits

So I could be free

They still wouldn’t stop it

They wouldn’t let me be
I wouldn’t wear makeup

I wouldn’t comb my hair

Spent less time to dress up

But they would still stare
I learned to live like a woman

Not a person

They told me it’s the price I have to pay
They made me feel dirty

They made me feel degraded

They made me feel filthy

And violated
I’m tired of losing myself

I’m tired of changing

There’s nothing wrong with me

I won’t take the blaming
I learned to live like a woman

Not a person

This is a price I don’t want to pay
I want to walk on the streets and feel safe

To be seen as a person not a sex object

Live out of the fear of a possible rape

Want to be treated with respect
I could be your sister

I could be your wife

Your mum your daughter

An important person in your life
Yes I am a woman

And also a person

This is a price I don’t have to pay

***

This is old but since it’s International Women’s Day and street harassment is still an issue I decided to share.

Thoughts, views and comments are very welcome.

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