I shared this on my other blog once, but I think it's more relevant for this blog. So here I go.
Freedom from the Forbidden
There’s this knot in my chest,
A voice in my head,
Telling me to abandon all traditions
To speak the truth, to seek the truth
To cross every imaginary boundary ever drawn
To break the wall between divine guidelines and man-made laws
To make it known that I have risen to the glory I owe myself
What—was it not so they could control my sexuality?
Limit my mobility and silence my voice?
Forbid me natural inclinations?
Deny me what’s permitted to man, whom they’ve deemed my lord
In history’s slanted pages, in invisible ink
I understand it now
Because I have risen to the glory I owe myself
That’s why they once asked themselves if I was a human, like man.
That’s why God is a “He”– but they tell us “He” has no gender!
That’s why I’m circumcised, and my feet are bound!
That’s why I look pretty only when I’m thin!
And why polygyny is a man’s right but polyandry a sin!
That’s why I need the permission of a man to marry my Beloved!
That’s why I can’t marry but a Muslim man
That’s why Triple Talaq is for men only – but they tell us divorce is a big deal!
That’s why I must cover my hair, lest I wish to be raped!
That’s why they say God is the head of man, man the head of woman!
That’s why the jurists termed the dower “price of the vulva”!
Hear me out once:
The fine line between divine guidelines and man-made laws no longer exists!
They tell us women must have no desires, no fantasies!
What—do they think me a doll?
Must I describe what I feel upon seeing my Beloved?
Because I can do today what I was forbidden yesterday
Since now, I have risen to the glory I owe myself
For how much longer must I let them define my womanhood for me?
Why must I let them tell me what it means to be natural,
What it means to be woman?
Heaven lies beneath the mother’s feet, they tell us
Not beneath the woman’s feet.
What—Is this meant to be a privilege?
Should I be grateful?
No – It is there just to silence me.
But this centuries-old silence has deafened me!
And I have finally risen to the glory I owe myself
The infinite well of silence has finally dried up!
I was deaf and mute before
But I am living now, and I will live forever
I am eternal.
And I have risen to the glory I owe myself
~ Jan. 5th 2010