In this day and age? they ask. For every woman who walks free, a woman locked in a room – lips gashed, eyes blue & swollen, pink brine on cheeks, an unspoken prayer of Please don’t let him go home drunk tonight. For every young woman moving her tassel to the left, callused hands that never felt the smooth bark of a pencil. For every woman breezing up the corporate ladder, an underpaid manual laborer with loans & empty plates after 6. For every woman with the romance novel-replica spouse, a barefooted single mother with zero child support. For every woman with a dreamy fiance, a woman ridiculed at dinners for not having a ring at 40 or for taking the child-free route. For every woman who can bring home a girlfriend, a woman wishing to become a man, or a man wishing to become a woman but is told, No, you can’t wear those clothes, you can’t be called Matt or Frida & you can’t love whomever you want if you want to be loved by us. For every girl who lives, a baby boxed in an abandoned alley, or shot in the head like Malala because she was born with a vagina. For every woman who can proudly say, “This is my cunt and only I have a say in it”, a blade mutilating a clitoris for male pleasure. For every mother whose baby’s coos, the tender ins and outs, wash over weary days, another suffers in silence, thinking paradise is a noose around her neck – and her baby’s too. For every woman who basks in the light of freedom, a woman in need of rescue or remembrance.
For every arm broken, twisted, frightened, left unheld, a pair can be lent to make working limbs. Make life worth celebrating.