I am sitting hunched my head low-stooped like a nun in prayer .Drenched in thoughts I absently gaze at the dying fire. As the ambers fade away into ashes, I am painfully reminded of my dying hopes. I wish I could blow some life into that fire but I can’t. I’m just a voiceless and helpless being, crawling on the face of the Earth. One of my children coughs; a long dry cough. Before I can reach out to give him some water, the cough dies down and he falls back to sleep. Just like this fire, both my children are dying before my eyes and there is nothing i can do about it. Deeper and deeper, day by day I am sinking in this pool of sorrow, pain and helplessness.
My body is like an old weathered pirate’s map.Scars tattooed all over me by life itself are the price I had to pay, for being a woman.My heart is wrenched apart, my soul is crushed. I have paid so much for masking my agony in silence. Within me my soul yearns and screams to be heard. I have something to tell you.
It’s a story of blood and sweat, fire and ice, possibilities and impossibilities, a fight of tackling formidable prey. It’s a silent cry that has been going on for long but goes unheeded. Women can have a say in the kitchen but when it comes to business, many think it is a sphere for men. Women are considered inferior and weak. It’s funny how somebody who has to wake up early every morning, cook, clean and make sure everybody is set before attending to her own needs is called weak. My lecherous husband goes around whoring and in return, together with my children, we succumb to the ravages of STIs. It’s the grass that always suffers when bulls fight. I endure everything silently but I’m called weak? If that is the definition of weakness then I bet we cannot rule out insanity, some people really need to have their heads examined.
To all the misogynists, those who would rather go to the grave swearing the sun rises in the West than agree with a woman, you seriously need to update your dictionary. Women are not weak. Women are fierce, strong with undaunted spirits. I might be lying on a withered mattress, my face fading into the obscenity of pain but I’m courageous. Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. Statistics have it that 95% of gender based violence victims are women. Gender equality is considered nothing but a piece of trash. Just like how my grandmother thought I was possessed when I was practicing my Spanish, women are often misunderstood when they try to voice out their thoughts and doubts regarding many things. Women who try to women up are considered rebellious and tyrant.
The fire spreads into the education spectrum. When a boy gets good grades in an examination, he is intelligent and hardworking. When a girl gets the same grade for the same examination, she is accused of sleeping with her lecturers. Just like cutting margarine with a hot knife, it’s easy for a man to scamper the heights of education and attain a name for himself. For the same post, a woman has to go through a series of exploitation, scorn and derision, high quality corruption and humiliation. Every day, every time, a woman has to work twice as hard as a man to achieve half the recognition. Our country and the world as a whole is full of male dominated workplaces. This is a reality we cannot ignore.
It’s high time other women like me out there woke up and realise that there is more to life than being a punching bag. I long for that day where this war that has been going on for too long will come to an end. With a smile on my face and a folding of the hands, I know it’s going to be a cold day in hell today because when my husband comes from work, I have something to tell him too.