Vanguard with 

Ode to My Cultural Heritage

 - Friday 9 March 2012.

(“woman was taken out of man;
Not out of his head to top him, nor
Out of his feet to be trampled underfoot;
But out of his side to be equal to him, under
His arm to be protected, and near his heart
to be loved.”)

Anonymous

Ode to My Cultural Heritage (In celebration of International Women’s Day)

By Dr. Hassan B. Sisay, USA.

My birth was unwelcome, my brother’s celebrated
I was born a woman. It wasn’t my fault
But tradition says, I am inferior to men
I was born a woman. It wasn’t my fault.
But tradition says, obey fathers and brothers.
I was born a woman. It wasn’t my fault
But tradition says, education is for men.
I was born a woman. It wasn’t my fault
But tradition says, marital rape is for me.
I was born a woman. It wasn’t my fault
But tradition says, genital mutilation is for me.
I was born a woman. It wasn’t my fault
But tradition says, forced sterilization is for me
I was born a woman. It wasn’t my fault
But tradition says, inheritance laws are for men.
I was born a woman. It wasn’t my fault.
But tradition says, honor killing is for me
I was born a woman. It wasn’t my fault
But tradition says, dowry price is for me.
I was born a woman. It wasn’t my fault.
But tradition says, selective abortion is for me
I was born a woman. It wasn’t my fault
But tradition says, virginity testing is for me
I was born a woman. It wasn’t my fault.
But tradition says, wife beating is for me
I was born a woman. It wasn’t my fault
But tradition says, menstruation is ugly
One day, I’ll tell “Mr. tradition”
I gave birth to men.