The Virginity Test

2019

I didn’t bleed a lot the first day I got my period,
So there were doubts about whether or not it was actually my period.
It was the worst time of my life.
womanhood, period, gender violence, fgm, virginity testing

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If Only I Were A Boy

2018

I was old when I got my period for the first time.
I was the last one to get it at school.
I was 15 years old.
womanhood, period, body image, gender identity

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My Period Story

2019

My experience with periods was pretty normal.
They told us about them in school.
I got my first period when I was in the 7th grade.
I was surprised and sad.
Then began the journey of pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and anxiety.
It’s painful every time.

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It Happens to All Girls

2019

The first time I got it,
I thought I had injured my privates.
The pain, the shock of seeing blood—it was all new to me.
I had no idea what was going on.
womanhood, body image, period

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Toothpick

2018

I don’t know if there’s anything I like about my body.
I don’t know if there’s anything I like about bodies in general.
It’s because my thoughts are always fixated on the parts I don’t like or want on my body.
body image, womanhood

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Everyone Knew About It

2019

I waited until we got back home,
And asked my father.
“My aunt said so and so,
And I don’t want to catch this disease.
What should I do?”
My father is a doctor,
And he made sure while we were growing up,
To let us know that our relationship is more than just a father-daughter relationship.
We were also friends.
So he explained everything to me.

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I'm a Burden

2010

Girls grow up a little bit every day.
They get taller,
Fatter,
And curvier.
They get ready for the day,
When they become ladies.

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I Am on My Period

2019

I don’t remember how old I was when I got it.
But I remember that I knew what it was,
From mama and my older cousin.
“You’ll find blood in your underwear one day.
Don’t worry or get startled.
It’s something that happens to all girls.
It lets them know that they’re grown up.
When it happens to you,
Come tell me.”

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It Doesn't Have to Be Scary

2019

When I was a kid,
Mommy would always tell me that God would only start judging me for my actions when I got my first period.
Before that,
My slate was clean,
Because in front of God,
I was still a baby: clean and innocent.
But when I got my first period,
That was it.
We’d be the same.
I’d be a woman.
Grown up and aware,
And accountable for all my actions,
Just like her.

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When I Was Ten

2019

I remember the exact day.
It was on a Friday in February.
My mother had told us, ever since we were 10 years old,
That we’d start wearing the hijab as soon as we got it,
Because it’s a religious obligation.
I’d hoped I’d never get it.

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