Be intelligent and think for yourself.
But don’t speak unless spoken to.
You must be pure
But stay hidden under the veil.
Do well in school.
You must be the best.
You must be extraordinary in every single way.
Until the day of your wedding when you are given away.
It’s time to quit school and be a full time wife.
There’s no time to be thinking about YOUR dream life.
Forget about school.
Forget about careers.
Forget about being the independent woman we taught you to be.
Now you must be obedient and learn how to make better tea.
Do you know how to cook?
Well, you better learn fast.
I don’t care that you were more focused on school.
You’re married to me now and I will not be made a fool.
Forget your straight A’s and all your goals in life.
You don’t need them anymore because now you’re a wife.
Well, you know what this girl thinks of your rules and restrictions?
I will not be defined by what my husband tells me to do.
Nor am I the qualities that make a ‘perfect’ wife.
I am not here to support your purpose in life
While I must hold myself back from what my parents taught me to be.
And that is smart and strong and to think for myself.
They may have told me to be quiet and hold my tongue
But no longer will I let anyone force me to be anything other than the woman I want to become.
I am not your brown girl stereotype
Nor will I ever be.
I am the strong characteristics that I know are in me.
I am my straight A’s and my original thoughts.
I will not speak only when spoken to.
I will speak up and tell you:
I refuse to be defined by my cooking and cleaning skills.
I refuse to be defined by these outdated values.
I will define myself.
I am smart, and strong, and extraordinary.
I will no longer be judged by the standards of past generations.
I will be this generation’s greatest female creation.