Where do I start?
At what point of time did this begin?
I would have to take us back to the beginning of civilisation to explain it all
But let’s start from where this lifetime began
I was in mummy’s womb,
my heart started to have its own little beat
in it’s own rhythm that ran parallel to that of her own.
Mummy would work all day and night
Almost oblivious to the fact that I was in her belly.
Daddy was always away
Always out of town working hard to make ends meet
Mummy became lonely.
But when she remembered how her mummy had to go through the same thing
she was okay with it.
She lost her balance
Fell off a flight of stairs.
That hurt me.
Mummy was tough
No one to help her, she stood up
Brushed the dust off her knees
Assured that I was okay
And went on with her day.
The doctor told them I was a girl
“We’ll have another one.”
When I took my first breath of air
I took my time
Took my time to learn about this world
Savoring it through its smells and its sounds
Before I started relying on my eyes
My eyes that would see and judge those around me.
When I finally opened my eyes
I heard daddy whisper,
“She is so ugly, can I send her away?”
I learned that my eyes were too small and squinty
Not pretty enough
Whatever pretty meant.
I was bald until I was 3
My grandma would make sure people knew I wee, not pee
She dressed me up in hats with brown ringlets
I learned that girls had to have long hair
Looking like a boy was just an abomination.
As I began tottering on my own two feet
Mummy brought me to a store
To buy me my first baby loafers
Immediately, I picked up a purple and a red
But mummy bought me a pair of pink instead
I learned that girls had to wear pink and look impeccable
That’s unheard of in this time and day.
Back in kindergarten on days when the electricity did not work
Boys were allowed to strip naked
While the girls had to stay in their underwear
Because it was indecent and lewd.
In high school, my friends started dating each other
Girls and boys, girls and girls but never boys and boys
I always thought that was odd but never questioned it.
Another thing that I learned in those years
Was a lock that can be opened by many keys is considered a bad lock
But a key that can open many locks is a good key.
I was in a relationship where I strived on the approval of the other
Trying so hard to please
To be the person he wanted me to be,
I learned that a woman should not depend on a man’s approval
To lead the life she wants to live.
I was in a relationship where both him and I were equals
We shared all responsibilities but one;
I was the vessel that held all of our tears, angers and frustrations
I learned that a woman has to contain all of the emotional burden
Because men are just not wired that way.
I am now in a relationship where I am free
Free to explore, to make choices independent of the other
I was told that exploring my sexuality is inappropriate
So I learned that I should keep my mouth shut.
They told me.
I learned and was told many things in my life
But Daddy told me one thing that really struck me:
I am only able to live this life because I am a girl
That, because I am a girl?
I won’t have the burden of taking care of my family
That, because I am a girl?
I can venture into the Arts
That my 9 year old baby brother
will never be able to make the choices I have made
because he is a boy.
Because he is a boy.
Because I am