We see things they’ll never see

I walk down the road
and a woman is screaming
in my face
women yelling at women,
and I cannot hear what they say.
And I look down at the cloth
that drapes over my body
hides me, keeps me safe
and I realise her words
are filled with nothing but hate

You’re oppressed, dress like me
your men disgust me,
you need to be free
like me.
The billboards say it,
the magazines and the commercials:
you have to be free
you need to be free,
desperation resides in her eyes
as she shakes me by the shoulders
she looks like she needs to cry –
be free like us,
be free like me,
you cannot be a woman
unless you are freed
you’re not a feminist
unless you dress like me
and that disgusts me,
be free.

I turn to look up
at this woman before me
but even I, another like her,
shy away from the radiation
of angry heat
from all the skin she displays to me
And I hold my tongue
until she tugs at my clothes
desperately curious
at what lies under what is wrapped
around my head
what I am hiding from her
and all the rest

Your bareness offends me
and yet I feel no threat
lingerie stores and tv screens
will try to tell me how to dress –
modesty does not belong
in this modern world
obsessed
with sex.
‘We must save you
because you are oppressed,
listen to us and follow us
repeat after me:
you are oppressed.
Your men have you trapped
see you as nothing more
than an object
to be hidden and covered
and unwrapped for sex’
But in all the time
you have been speaking to me,
I have received nothing more
than one ‘peace be upon you’
And 3 men have shouted
from open windows
about how sexy that shirt makes you look.

I will not be the woman
chanting ‘womens rights’
down a catwalk, in front of men
with tongues hanging out.
Nor the woman shouting about wage gap
and why it’s sexist
that I can’t be at the workplace
in a pair of micro shorts .
I will not be the woman
scoffing at me for buying lingerie
because apparently what I wear
must be for the world
or I shouldn’t wear it at all,
I will not be the woman angry
that her nipples can’t be on show.
Because, forgive me,
but clearly you are a victim
of unequal education
your priorities are a mess
nudity isn’t a necessity,
you must have hit your head.

I am free
because I can walk past
a blown up photo of cleavage
without looking at my chest.
I can scorn at Victorias Secret
without envy for their models,
without thinking
I must wear less,
Naked women in the window
sex toys hanging proudly
on the walls,
I will shield my daughters eyes
and never let her see
this mess,
and I’ll never let my son
believe that this
is what he should expect.
I am free
because our men
only protect what is theirs
instead of enjoying
our lack of clothing
so that other men can stare

I  am free
because I don’t care enough
to force you to look like me
I am free
because I am not a slave
to society.
I am free
because what I wear is what I choose
I am free
simply because I am not you

So walk on past me,
I won’t ever be a slave
to the ideals of the West.
I laugh because I am free
I’ll never be like you, darling;
I’ll never be oppressed


Hey, I’m sorry this was so long, but this is one of the things I am most passionate about and you’ll read more on this topic…I just want to add a quick note that I have nothing against the women who decide to wear less, or those who decide to wear more. What you wear is YOUR choice. I only have a problem with the women who try to force their opinions on other women, and I definitely have a problem with the way society perceives women and how common and normal extreme sexualisation is becoming. If you are fighting for the womens cause, I’m pretty sure creating divisions amongst women is going the opposite way…

 

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