Picture a first generation girl.
Her parents, never finished high school.
Her older brother, spent the first 8 years of his life without seeing his father
His father, was in the United States fulfilling his duty
His duty, as the man was to provide for his family.
His family, praised him for his work.
His work, brought them to the United States
His daughter, was the first of the family born on American soil.
His job was 24/7 and it was draining.
He is extraordinary.
And it is known.
Every time he visits back home,
He is showered with love
Every time he comes home from work,
His mother, who now lives with the family, treats him like a king.
It is made sure that he eats, drinks, and sleeps with no hesitation.
After all, his family owes him everything. Right?
But no one likes to hear about what he doesn’t do.
Let me tell you what he doesn’t do.
He doesn’t cook for his family in the mornings before work and nights after work.
He doesn’t come home and ice his feet because he was standing for 8 hours straight.
He doesn’t deal with the phone calls from back home about what crisis is happening.
He didn’t spend 8 years raising his first born while his mother in law treated him like absolute garbage.
He hasn’t spent nights with his daughter crying his eyes out out of pain because things get too much for him.
He doesn’t have to look after his mother in law who was the sole reason for his lack of sanity.
No, he didn't have to do any of these things.
But his wife did.
And she is extraordinary
But that is not known
Where is her praise?
How come she isn’t given any recognition?
How come her daughter is the only one who gets to see
her mother’s sanity slowly fade?
How come when the daughter’s brother visits,
Her grandmother asks him if he has eaten
and if he is doing well in school
But when the daughter is gone for three days and comes back,
Not even a hello from her grandmother.
How come when talking about marriage,
the grandmother tells the girl’s mother,
your daughter will never get married, she’s too dark.
Funny thing is, the girl’s mother is the one with the fair skin.
She got her dark skin from her father
as if there is something wrong with that.
the grandmother assumes a woman is only good for cooking and cleaning
Even though the mother is busting her ass everyday at work and home
Even though the daughter is busting her ass every day at school to prove people like that wrong
So even after all that,
How come the girl’s mother,
a woman who has been so tortured by this stupid misogyny
that has been around her whole life
Is now using it against her own daughter?
The girl’s brother gets caught with marijuana in his room
and their parents laugh it off and say don’t do it again.
The girl? Gets a B in her class and is shunned or screamed at or slapped.
All she hears from her mother is the things she shouldn’t do.
“Girls shouldn’t talk like that”
“Girls shouldn’t stand like that”
“Girls shouldn’t get married if they don't even know how to cook”
“Girls shouldn’t be messy they should be much cleaner than boys”
“Girls shouldn’t go out that much like boys do.”
“Girl’s shouldn’t wear clothes like that.”
“Girls are supposed to be slim”
“Girls shouldn’t be too tall”
“Girls shouldn’t swear”
Be seen as more than just breasts and pretty hair?
Be seen as more than just sweet and fragile?
Be seen as CEOs, Engineers, Lawyers, Doctors,
and having the option of being a homemaker not the expectation.
I am a feminist
And a lot of people are too scared to call themselves a feminist nowadays
Because they seem to have this twisted idea that all women want is to be superior to men
Which is why I didn’t start off this poem by saying that I was a feminist
Cause half of you would have mentally prepared yourselves
to hear me go on about wanting the right to take my top off in public
Or expecting me to shame men for every little thing they do
or saying that I hate every single man with every inch of my being
But that idea of feminism is so first world that my lungs are incapable of wasting my breath on it.
My concern is more for the men and women struggling to take a breath
and speaking up against injustice.
My concern is more for my cousin, who ran out of his home after seeing his mother consistently abused by his step dad.
My concern is for the women who get a brick to the head and still don’t have a good enough case to leave their husband.
My concern is for the girls being raped and being treated like the criminal
My concern is for the boys being raped and being called “girls” as an insult.
My concern is for my grandfather who i never met cause he killed himself cause he couldn’t handle being abused by his wife.
My concern is for my mother who was literally locked away so that she couldn’t call and tell my father that his father was dead.
My concern isn’t just for women. It’s for all of us. That is what makes me a feminist.
Here, we think feminism is Free the Nipple.
Across the world, feminism is getting girls an actual education, an actual mind of her own
so that she can stand, not behind a man, but next to him
I don’t hate my dad. I think he is extraordinary for the things that he has done.
I don’t hate my mom. I think she is the same amount of extraordinary.
I know my grandma grew up being treated like she was less than men,
So she treated my mom like she was less than men,
And now I am treated like I am capable of less of than men.
But it stops with me.
I’ll tell my daughter of these stories and my son too.
And if I can’t have kids, I’ll adopt and tell them.
And I’ll tell them these stories aren’t meant to be sad.
Because with pain comes the power of overcoming it.
And I’ll be damned if I’m going to tell my daughter to restrain her talent and capabilities.
I’ll be damned if I’m gonna allow my son to feel like his masculinity is defined by only his athletic capabilities.
Picture a first generation girl,
Not the first generation in her family to be born in america,
But the first generation in her family where it will be KNOWN that she is extraordinary.