This is how I understand 

I was walking down the street 

Minding my own business

When I noticed the car

Passing by was moving 

Way too slowly

Men in the front seat

Ogled my body 

Honking their horn

And making me wonder


I was wearing jeans 

And a t shirt

I wasn’t even showing off anything 

This is how I 

Start shaming myself

For no good reason 

This is how I

Become more wary 

Towards the intentions of men 

This is how I 

Realize the world 

Is very broken 



My body is not a transient being 

It does not solely exist 

When you place your hands upon me 

For then it is only because you choose 

To let me exist 

For your pleasure 

For your touch 

Instead of the fact 

That I 



I’ve always been told 

To watch what I eat 

To go out and excercise

To improve upon my body 

To wear appropriate clothes 

Modest and unrevealing 

Leaving others to wonder 

But what frustrates me the most 

Is when someone compares me to the 

Entire female gender 

I didn’t know my physical exterior 

Was a part of a competition 

That couldn’t be won

What frustrates me the most 

Is when i am told that my efforts 

Are in vain

I am told:

I have to save my virtue 

For a Man  

I have to save the best aspects of 

My body, my aspirations, and my dignity 

To be put in a union

That is not equal

My culture teaches me that 

Women should be in servitude 

No matter their education 

No matter their accolades

And every choice that a 

Woman makes for herself 

Is just considered an opinion

I have been taught not to sexualize myself

Through my body or my mannerisms 

To be chaste and pure 

But that earns me much disgrace from 

The people of my own gender 

They call me a prude 

And they wonder why I don’t 

Move past this supposed 

Gilded cage that I’m inside.

I tell you I was not forced into

Any cage

And everything I have made

Whether it be my fashion choices

My weight or my body shape

Is up to my choice 

It is not up to your opinion 

It is not for a man’s pleasure 

It is not to belittle other women 

Or to make them feel inferior

No, I am my own person 

With my own hopes and dreams 

I can be my own boss

I can make my own decisions

And I can love myself 

And I can love others 

Let’s please stop then.

My fellow women please stop shaming me

My humanity is at stake and so is yours

Men please stand beside me 

I ask for nothing more