I am imprisoned within a microscopic lens
Stereotyped, analysed, suffocated
Too submissive, too ignorant, too uneducated
That I need to be liberated
Society, unshackle me! Let me be!
My scarf is wrong for me, my dress style wrong
My skin colour is wrong, I am all wrong
I do not fit into the prescription of a liberated society
Society, stop! Stop stereotyping me!
You equate my hijab to submission and servitude
My clothing, a shroud preventing me in displaying my naked beauty
My haya, preventing me from tasting the forbidden fruit
Society, who are you to set the standards of my life for me?
To wear a hijab under such scrutiny, requires nerves of steel
To wrap oneself from head to toe requires the strength to stand up to the society as a whole
To bare a ‘foreign skin colour’ requires unwavering willpower
No number of anti-discriminatory laws can afford the protection of equality
Dear society, to you I represents a rejection of the standards you set
I stand not as submissive or oppressive but independent, unafraid, emboldened, empowered
I refuse to be moulded into a shape, a size, a taste
I am educated, I am responsible, I am liberated in the choices and decisions I make
I am the defying challenge to your total control over governing the female race
Society don’t decide for me!
I am much debated, much analysed, much stereotyped being alive
Unshackle me from your expectations, prejudices, your desire to control and to conform me
Demanding that I desist from desiring control over my own human self
Criminalising me for being me
Sameena Aziz Yaqoob
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