Colonial history will still dictate how the men around here
Practice love through hate
For aesthetic purposes; an ethnic marker,
Gender controlled by husband...son...father
Against my will.
I can let nature take its course, the uneasiness in how I pass
Bears nothing to your immoral force with which you open me up.
Your gateway to a selfish pleasure,
And I once believed that being loved
Was close to being treasured.
I am as trapped as a bird in a cage,
Modified and made ugly by your commission.
Disfigured by tradition and religion and holy wars,
And chained by the fear that renders me yours
Against my will.
My sisterhood grows from northeast Africa
To the sub-Sahara.
Young and joyless and bound by doctrines.
No pursuit of happiness. No pleasure to come
No great expectations. Nothing foretold
Nothing that has been or gone.
Objects more of control than desire;
My eyes that once shone with innocent love
Now burn with hate fuelled fire…and all because...
You denied me a fall from grace, you denied me self discovery,
No different to putting scars on my face
Or is that too much a public recovery?
You denied me womanhood, you denied me choice.
I censor my thoughts and silence my voice
And I think of our mothers and their mothers
And of the honour and pride they felt
When this exact same fate to them was dealt.
And why did they not feel humiliated? Abused?
Maybe when we live in a world without light
We relinquish our strengths and fall prey to our plights.
Enlightenment and knowledge, I was lead to believe,
Are the roads to freedom.
Our mothers learned nothing other than to serve and to please,
And here am I, enlightened but sedated,
Imprisoned, captive, segregated.
Dysmorphic now, a victim still,
And all of this against my will.
Copyright Marc Hawkins 2013
I was challenged by a member of the writers group I was part of to write a poem from a woman's perspective. I had recently watched a documentary on genital mutilation which inspired me to write this, Type 3 being the harshest of the practice.