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Our Sisters

A poem by Premalatha Karupiah


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Some were killed in the darkness of the womb and never saw the sunlight on earth,

For they will not carry the family name,

Some were born but were confined to their houses and never made it to schools,

Why should we send them to schools? They after all, would be sent off as a bride.

Some managed to go to schools but were never allowed to use their voice,

What would they have to say? They are not that intelligent anyway.

Some discovered that they had voices but were silenced by violence,

For their own good, they said, mostly by people who claimed that they loved them.

Nevertheless, some took a few steps forward,

They loved their bodies but were told how ugly or evil their bodies were,

They wanted to lead but were told they were too emotional,

They wanted to question the norms but were told that their submission made them beautiful,

They wanted to reach for the stars but were told that the kitchen is their place.

But that did not stop them, they continued moving forward…

They challenged the old hierarchy,

They fought for their voices, their lives,

They paved a new path,

They gave us something to hope for, and a dream to pursue,

And here we are standing on the shoulders of our sisters…

       – Premalatha Karupiah

Dr Premalatha Karupiah is a sociologist interested in the study of beauty culture and femininity. Her work focuses on the everyday experiences of women. She writes because the world deserves diverse voices

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
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