stdClass Object
(
    [ID] => 18973
    [post_author] => 23
    [post_date] => 2018-06-15 15:31:35
    [post_date_gmt] => 2018-06-15 15:31:35
    [post_content] => if i say i am a woman
            will you take an ice-pick to my tongue & climb inside
            my mouth & sculpt the word in your image?

if i cry out equality in my sleep
            the word too bright to see in daytime anymore
            will you ask me to sprinkle it onto your dinner plate &
            will i oblige?

if i use the f word –
            not f***–
            the other one
            the obscene one
            will you ask me to wring it out of your socks across the balcony &
            will i oblige?

if i say there is no such thing as a woman
            you cannot take my word & sharpen it
            bend the tip backwards until it pierces my own pupil
if i say there is no such thing as a woman
            then there is no such thing as a madonna
if i say there is no such thing as a woman
            then there is no such thing as a whore

if i say there is no such thing as a woman
then we are a faceless mass
            shapes contorting
            colourless & writhing
            tell us again of the papercuts you drew
            in bloodlines across the globe
then we are the trees
            uprooted by your revolutions
            lost in the fine print of your
            new constitutions
then we are the signatures
            splattered across your polling stations our ink
            stains fingernails & shirtsleeves
then we are everything
            you denied us

if i say there is no such thing as a woman
are you afraid now?
            did you forget our blood was always
            the oil of our machines?
            did you forget i too was born under the
            gaze of your male gods?
            that when you offered me a drawing pin i gladly fixed
            my tongue to the roof of my mouth?
nothing
            comes easier than asking for your
            permission

but if i say there is no such thing as a woman
then your fist will close on screaming air
& you will have no power over me
    [post_title] => there is no such thing as a woman
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => there-is-no-such-thing-as-a-woman
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2018-06-18 09:35:32
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-06-18 09:35:32
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => http://poems.poetrysociety.org.uk/?post_type=poems&p=18973
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => poems
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [meta_data] => stdClass Object
        (
            [wpcf-published-in] => 
            [wpcf-date-published] => 2018
            [wpcf-summary-description] => This poem is the first-prize winner in the protest poetry challenge, remembering 100 years of the women’s vote in the UK, on Young Poets Network (YPN) in 2018.

Foyle Young Poet Ankita Saxena, who wrote and judged this challenge, said, "Zara’s winning poem is courageous, evocative and intricate. The poem is located in the intimate space of the speaker’s mouth and is yet also boldly public, weaving allusions to internalised misogyny and violence against women into cleverly interlocked lines. I was drawn to Zara’s assured and shameless voice. This itself is, in its own way, revolutionary."
            [wpcf-rights-information] => 
            [wpcf-poem-award] => 1st prize winner, protest poetry challenge
            [wpcf_pr_belongs] => 
        )

    [poet_data] => stdClass Object
        (
            [ID] => 18974
            [forename] => 
            [surname] => 
            [title] => Zara Shams
            [slug] => zara-shams
            [content] => Zara is the first-prize winner in Ankita Saxena’s protest poetry challenge on Young Poets Network, remembering 100 years of the women’s vote in the UK.
        )

)
stdClass Object
(
    [ID] => 18974
    [forename] => 
    [surname] => 
    [title] => Zara Shams
    [slug] => zara-shams
    [content] => Zara is the first-prize winner in Ankita Saxena’s protest poetry challenge on Young Poets Network, remembering 100 years of the women’s vote in the UK.
)

there is no such thing as a woman

Zara Shams

if i say i am a woman
            will you take an ice-pick to my tongue & climb inside
            my mouth & sculpt the word in your image?

if i cry out equality in my sleep
            the word too bright to see in daytime anymore
            will you ask me to sprinkle it onto your dinner plate &
            will i oblige?

if i use the f word –
            not f***–
            the other one
            the obscene one
            will you ask me to wring it out of your socks across the balcony &
            will i oblige?

if i say there is no such thing as a woman
            you cannot take my word & sharpen it
            bend the tip backwards until it pierces my own pupil
if i say there is no such thing as a woman
            then there is no such thing as a madonna
if i say there is no such thing as a woman
            then there is no such thing as a whore

if i say there is no such thing as a woman
then we are a faceless mass
            shapes contorting
            colourless & writhing
            tell us again of the papercuts you drew
            in bloodlines across the globe
then we are the trees
            uprooted by your revolutions
            lost in the fine print of your
            new constitutions
then we are the signatures
            splattered across your polling stations our ink
            stains fingernails & shirtsleeves
then we are everything
            you denied us

if i say there is no such thing as a woman
are you afraid now?
            did you forget our blood was always
            the oil of our machines?
            did you forget i too was born under the
            gaze of your male gods?
            that when you offered me a drawing pin i gladly fixed
            my tongue to the roof of my mouth?
nothing
            comes easier than asking for your
            permission

but if i say there is no such thing as a woman
then your fist will close on screaming air
& you will have no power over me