If you are gender stereotyped, encouraged
to wear pink, play with Barbies instead of
trains, dream of being a princess instead of
a priest, to be nice instead of bold, quiet
instead of outspoken, accommodating
instead of demanding...
If you are given the message on repeat that
your body is there for others - to judge,
scrutinise, touch, evaluate, compare and
If you are labelled bossy, bitchy, brassy,
blonde, uptight, ditzy, frigid, pretty, loud,
or pretty loud...
If you are sexually harassed, cat-called,
date-raped, coerced, or God forbid,
If it's enshrined in law that you at 14, 24,
or 40 matter less than an embryo..
If you become depressed, anxious, bulimic,
anorexic, as you obey the instructions to
make yourself smaller and smaller till you
If you abandon a brilliant future because
you didn't see yourself reflected where you
wanted to go...
If you partner up and fall into what seems
to be expected instead of what you want...
If you find your bookshelves, music collection
and government full of male voices...
If you find it normal and unremarkable
that the divine feminine in you is ignored,
trampled and disregarded...
If you experience the most sacred hour of
giving birth as a time to be poked, prodded
and dictated to by the patriarchy, and are
then told not to complain because you have
a "healthy baby'...
If you're told "No-one wants to see that" as
you try to feed your baby...
If your voice is ignored, interrupted,
If you receive the message that it's safer
not to try in case you fail, and failure isn't
If you find yourself pitted against and sepa-
rate from other women...
If you feel shamed for bleeding, orgasming,
sprouting hair, flesh and breasts...
If you are saddled with memories of life-
times of violence and cruelty...
If you tune out from your own dreams and
desires because it's just too painful..
If it turns out everything in the Earth is not
yours because you're a woman...
Then my daughter, I didn't do enough.
Being your mother makes me brave.
Knowing that you will be left with what I
couldn't change makes me want to fight as
long as I have breath.
By Zoe Challenor