This one’s for me, my friends and every other single being. Respect is a movement and it needs to be encouraged.
Your words are smothered by the norms of another.
Why are you hiding your rights from the forefront of your mind?
Choking from the inside so you don’t hear your pain,
Power is through the suffering, push against this cage.
The valley between your legs are said to be pure,
Yet to be fucked by a domineering figure.
Stop expecting to be treated as an object of someone’s desire,
A seal to be broken before it ages.
Derogatory words are not yours to embrace,
Your vocabulary is refined, it should not be reduced out of fear.
Dirty men and women have no right to cover you in bruised memories,
However small and forgotten you make it out to be, I’m afraid it’ll cripple.
Your thoughts no matter how dark they have travelled,
I promise is better out than left in to fester.
Be empowered in the ways you chose to say no,
Yet continue to undress.
It is an effort to please yourself first,
Demand the respect your mother would want for you.
The type of respect she never got when she spoke with kindness,
And if they do not listen, recoil from the obedience they beg of you.
Words by Jaiimeeta Magandram
Illustration by Sascha Tan