Celyne Asnani, 18British Columbia, Canada
This is a poem I wrote for my Feminist Action class at Simon Fraser University. It is to reflect on the 28th principle of the Declaration of Mexico, “Women all over the world should unite to eliminate violations of human rights committed against women and girls such as: rape, prostitution, physical assault, mental cruelty, child marriage, forced marriage and marriage as a commercial transaction.”
The message I am trying to bring out through my poem is that in order to unite and fight for all women, we need to know their stories, especially the ones that no one has ever mentioned or cared about. We can’t just rely on understanding the definition of the terms (rape, prostitution, physical assault, mental cruelty, child marriage, forced marriage and marriage as a commercial transaction) and expect to have a plan for eliminating all these violations. To me, recognizing that all women have names and their individual stories is the key to effectively eliminate all violations of human rights committed against women and girls. It is important that we give each and every woman her own voice to tell her own story.
She is sixteen Off to the unknown Hell Provided only a bed In a room No windows The sunlight fades And the monsters creep With each scream in pain And tearful eyes The clock ticks midnight The doors all shut Golden coins piled on her body The masked man leaves her naked Taking all the coins But let her have no golden ticket home Too far from where she started So she waits Every night On the bed For the monsters to come And tears her apart Little by little
She said, “There is nothing heroic about my dad” She is afraid He comes home a drunkard Slaps And punches And his belt That whips her flesh open But nothing hurts more Than her father pointing his finger Telling her she is useless Calling her A whore A pig A nobody And every day she believes She doesn't deserve a hero to save her
She is innocent She walked in the club, She drank too much, She dressed too little, She sat with him, She talked to him It doesn't mean she is his to play with And it doesn't make it right Because it is wrong To rip out her dignity Because it is wrong To degrade her It is wrong Not because the law said so It is wrong Because she is human
She had no choice Her family too poor They married her off To that wealthy man Living two hundred miles away She is eight
She had no choice Her father married her off To a man she never knew She is twenty-one But she never did say I do
All these girls They all have names But no one cared These are their stories And in the end Who really did care?