Because when I was seven I saw my mother got beaten to a pulp and left with bruised eyes and a shattered house and confidence.
Because my father did not carry the burden of raising sickly children and loitered about and I barely knew him.
Because her happiness he thought he could buy with plastics full of food then vanish from the surface of the earth and forget that he bore children.
Because she was told she amounts to nothing because she was unmarried.
Because she bought me colorful items and I was a fag for having a pink shirt.
Because she was 14 and was told her brother could go to school and she couldn’t.
Because she was releasing fountains of blood like a burst pipe each time she spoke out.
Because she was told to be silent in the church and the pulpit is no place for a woman.
Because she was called a hoe for having a kid out of wedlock and he was told “good job!” for getting her pregnant.
Because she left school early to breastfeed their child and he moved on and made another child.
Because she never finished school so could fend for their child and he went about and built a career for himself.
Because she stayed at home and he vanished like a star in the afternoon blue sky and she was told to be a good girl.
Because she could not wear a short skirt to school because it will “woe” boys and make teachers “uncomfortable.”
Because she had sacrificed her comfort to make room for someone’s hypersexuality,
Because she had to sacrifice her inner being to make room for someone’s objectification.
Because she had to remain silent when she was stripped down of her short skirt and dignity because she was asking for it.
Because girls like her always have the “asking for it” placards for violence to be done one their bodies.
Because her body was left bruised and dead in a ditch with her panties torn to make room for him.
Because we thought we were protecting her.
Because we thought we were showing her love.
Because we thought she was just a kid.
Because we all killed her.
Because we had killed her mother.
Because we killed her grandmother.
Because we killed her great-grandmother.
Because generations of women before her were told to be “good women”, to be silent and keep their heads down, yet their hearts were heavy with injustice.
Because we can’t allow her daughters to be…
Because we have violated her body with restrictions and conditions and expectations of being a “good woman” of being a “good girl”.
Because her body is violated by the stares you pierce her body and soul with when she passes wearing anything that shows a bit of flesh.
Because her body is torn into pieces by the dehumanising cat calls you parade her with when she passes.
Because her body is a battlefield by which you project your insecurities.