Quiet Submission

2017

I’m in love with a man who means the world to me.
We’ve been together for 3 years.
He’s married and has children,
But I still love him.
romantic relationships, gender violence, social pressure

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In the Fifth Settlement

2019

A white-haired old man
Dressed in a suit,
And driving a fancy car,
Stopped me to ask where the nearest supermarket was.
I very naively started giving him directions.
Then this man, who’s as old as my father,
Started doing the dirtiest thing ever.
I can’t give any more details,
But I’m sure you understand what I mean.
I screamed,
And burst into tears.
He drove off, of course.

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Entitlement

2017

I don’t remember how old I was at the time, but I remember being old enough to understand what was going on. Old enough to say something. But I was too scared.
gender violence, sexual violence, masculinity, the street

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People Scare Me

2017

Ever since childhood, people have treated me like I’m strange, provocative.
Ever since I was a child, I never felt like all the other boys.
gender identity, gender violence, harassment, body image, sexuality, social pressure, social stigma

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Fear of Water

2016

A friend of mine tried to convince me to go for a swim.
He told me the water was great.
I kept telling them that I couldn’t swim.
“We’ll teach you,” they said.
“The water is great.”
I eventually gave in.
gender violence, harassment, child molestation

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I was 8 when I started working

2018

I was pretty young—eight years old—the day I started working at the workshop. It was during a school vacation.
There wasn’t internet back then, and there were only two TV channels.
I knew nothing about sex at the time.
gender violence, sexual violence, child molestation, sex

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He was like a brother to me

2017

I was around 7 or 8 years at the most.
All I knew then was that there are parts in our body that "strangers" should not see or touch.
What I came to know later is that most sexual assaulters are people who are very close to you.

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He Used Me as His Punching Bag

2017

After 12 days of marriage,
Full of hitting, swearing, and being rude,
I called his brother.
He told me the same old garbage:
“He’s young. He’ll change. Be patient.”
domestic violence, gender violence, physical violence, addiction, marriage, divorce, social stigma

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My Grandmother’s Influence

2019

The doctor arrived,
And I was scared.
I kept begging mama to not let them do it to me.
I had some idea of what was going to happen from friends and relatives.
But unfortunately,
my grandmother’s influence was stronger than my pleas.
Gender violence; physical violence; FGM

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They Say I’m Rude

2017

My mother has been getting on my nerves ever since the divorce.
“She’s become so rude ever since her second marriage,” she’d say whenever I joked around or said anything.
social pressure, gender violence, marriage, divorce, parents

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