I am so tired of doing so much work and your unfair pay
I am so shocked by your un-deterrent laws and sentences
I am so disgusted by your blind eyes
Looking the other way when you see them pushing us
We are beaten; we are burned, stabbed,
We are sold; we are raped, and killed
In times of peace and in times of war
We are powerless.
They have it all and they have us
We are the impoverished
We are the racially profiled
We are the stigmatized
We are the so-called mental health patients
When we disregard gender roles and rules
I am in such disbelief that you don't care
I speechless when you don't show up
Where are you when you hear us screaming?
Where are you when you see us beaten?
Where are you when we speak about harassment at work?
Where are you when our daughters are abused on dates?
Where are you when they call us names?
Where are you when they take our children away?
Where are you when they leave the courts free and inflict further harm upon us?
Where are you when the court orders are unobserved?
Where are you when one of us ends up in a wheelchair?
Where are you when one of us is disfigured?
Where are you when we are raped and gang-raped
In isolated cases or by masses?
Where are you when one of us is killed?
You even don't bring a flower or a card
As if our lives didn't matter at all
Shame on you!
You even don't write about us sometimes,
Yes we don't make it on the front pages most of the time
Especially when we are darker
And we certainly don't make it on your political agendas
My question is, where do we go from here?
Are we going to let you kill more and more of us?
Are we going to accept your failure to protect us?
Are we going to keep the accomplice's silence?
Are we going to be bound by this shame forever?
I don't think so, don't count on it!
No, I don't think so!
If you don't condemn it, you condone it.
If you don't denounce it, you reinforce it.
From now on,
We are coming out of the closet
Here we are: the survivors and current victims of all forms of violence against women
From now on we will fight back
With no bullets or bulletproof vests,
Without weapons or muscles like yours
We will fight back with our words, our songs, our lines, our peaceful demands
We will march on the streets and to the hills of power
Reclaiming our rights, fighting to change the laws
We will take back the homes, the streets, and the ministries
We were the invisible but from now on you will notice us
When one of us is hurt
We will walk the streets worldwide in Million Woman Marches
We will be in the courts when one of us is judged or misjudged
Worldwide, we will share the power with you
The power in homes, in schools and academia, in factories, in corporations, in parliaments, in courthouses, in ministries,
As the heads of states, in churches, in clubs, everywhere,
We want that power
We were the silenced, the unheard, but from now on we will come to the table of negotiations
We will scream louder if needed
We will knock on doors
We will bang on walls till you call 911
Have a good look at us; we are no longer your easy prey
We are visible, out of the closet
We are here, we survived, and we are alive
We are here, we are humans, and we deserve respect, justice and equal treatment
We are here, we are alive, we are strong, and we are still standing.
And we want to share the power... Equally.
Extract from "I Can Testify", p. 93, ©
Annie Kashamura Zawadi, 2007
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