It Hurts

It Hurts

It hurts.

Where does it hurt?
On my face. When men think the only reason, I do my make is to please them. When my red lipstick
means I am being slutty and my plain face means I am too timid or rather unconcerned about my
appearance. When I can’t laugh too loudly cos I am a lady.

Where does it hurt?
My eyes

Your eyes, how?
My eyes from all the pain they have seen women go through, patriarchal and self-inflicted. My eyes
when they meet that of a grown man across a full room of people and have to look away
immediately so he doesn’t take it as an invitation to treat.

Oh dear. Is that the only place it hurts?
No, my bosom also hurts. From all the times I chat with men and they maintain eye contact with my
breasts as if the words are being spilled from them. From when I “deserve” to be groped because I
dared to show even the littlest of cleavages.

How can it hurt in that many places?
My waist Demola. They always must be thin and shapely. They cannot afford to bear the scars of
childbirth nor the bad decision to have a milkshake after a meal of Double Cheese Whopper. I am
meant to be as flat as a skateboard, be stretched to incubate a baby but how dare I not go back to
normal immediately after?
My hands from typing reports at work, going back home to do the dishes with one hand and carry
my five children with the other hand, from tendering to my husband’s pleasure at night.

Shall I go on?
My legs. Because they have to go the extra mile just so I can be considered worthy of the platter of
opportunities dumped on the laps of my male colleagues.

Where else does it hurt?

Everywhere. It hurts everywhere. My entire existence as a woman hurts. It hurts everywhere.

  • This piece was first performed on the 29 th of April 2019 at Arch Remarks (Open Mic), Newcastle
    upon Tyne

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