Today at school I learnt
I was in class today
Looking at a slideshow, they asked: ‘Culture or cruelty?’
They showed me forced marriages and superstitions and cannibalism.
They asked: ‘Culture or cruelty?’ But they didn’t ask: ‘Find the common feature.’
I found it anyway.
I never saw it before, but then I opened my eyes.
Women being raped, alleged witches being tortured and burnt, a cannibalism
That requires for an entree’ a woman. Who was raped and beaten.
I said: ‘No. Hurting a woman is never acceptable.’
They paused politely. They forgot me anyway.
My voice was long amongst the masses.
They said: ‘No, we might find rape wrong but if someone grows up thinking
It’s right, then it’s their culture. So it’s right for them.’
They forgot me, the girl scared to death in the crowd.
(‘Culture or cruelty?’)
You think rape is acceptable as long as it’s part of a culture?
(And when they mentioned marital rape, a boy laughed.
'That never happens. Why would he go into the effort of
Raping a woman when he has her there willing?’
To the boy who laughed: hundreds
Millions of woman have the answer
And they will tell you
Rape does not require effort.)
'Culture or cruelty?' they asked.
I do not want a culture
that accepts cruelty on the basis that
it has been accepted.
I do not want to be
part of a culture that accepts my violation
takes away my voice
burns me with claims of ‘hearsay’
I already am)