I am a woman
Hayley's beautiful spoken word piece illustrates some vivid and powerful ideas about feminism & womanhood.
Originally I wrote "I am a woman" for an English assignment. I knew from the moment I got the assignment that I wanted to share how I feel about feminism and to use this opportunity to get everyone in the classroom thinking about what it means for them too.
To me, Feminism is a very misconceived term that comes with negative connotations that us women want to be better then men and that we are man haters. Yet I see "being a feminist" as being empowering and allowing both men and women to learn to embrace each other to become equals.
The campaign for HeforShe with Emma Watson as the ambassador was a real Inspiration for me, I encourage all young men and women to check it out.
"I am a woman" expresses that we should support, embrace and empower all people from all walks in life to gain equality because "when he is for she, and she is for he we begin to take a step forward". -
Listen to Hayley's spoken word piece here.
Read the transcript of "I am a woman" below:
I am a woman.
A woman seen in every child care commercial. A woman bound to looking like a Victoria secret cut out. A woman that should love the colour pink and walk around in high heels. A woman that is expected the carry the kitchen pantry, cleaning products and every electronic device all in one side handbag ready for that disaster that may be around the corner. A woman that is the rock, the shoulder, the smile to know everything will be okay, the glue, the paste, the whatever that holds life together through its tough moments cause you see that’s what a woman does and I am a woman.
Feminist, a misconceived word that is strongly pronounced by the women of the world.
60 days. Continuously separated in pay from my male counterparts doing the same work, same effort just because I have a different anatomy or simply I don’t have the “D”. 60 days. I am one day a baby carrier, but did I specify that in my CV, no the CEO already decided my fate for me as I walk into the room, and placed me as a liability. 60 days. I will need to work 60 days, 480 hours more than the male sitting next to me, just to be paid EQUAL. Not more, but equal. Should my gender be the calculator to how many zeros are printed on my pay slip or should my skills, work ethic and dedication be the decider? Why is it that the introduction of a flying car in 2017 and a trip to mars in 2030 will all occur before estimated year 2068 has men and women at equal pay? As the pay gap remains to be unchanged, neither has society’s perception of the problem of inequality.
Hitching our skirts up because that original length is just so awkward or wearing a short figure hugging dress…. Slut! ……. No it doesn’t matter that I’ve never had a romantic relationship; I show that much more of my leg or the curve of my body and it’s seen as provocative and slutty. Whereas a man, with those couple of top buttons undone showing some chest…. Ooooo hunny he is dayum fine. Do these double standards have to be put side by side and said right to us, to realise that our mind sets are deceiving us? Why is it that we just accept these thoughts in our daily lives yet when we talk about it, it’s then we say “oh that’s completely wrong”?
I am a woman determined to follow that seemingly foggy light at the end of the tunnel.
Yet a man, so in control of his life, so confident, he’s a leader because he knows exactly what he’s talking about. No he never struggles, such uncomplicated creatures they are. He doesn’t shed a tear in front of an audience or express his vulnerability because then it decreases that masculinity to which he would then form a label… Pussy.
Why is it that a man’s tear is seen as more significant that a woman’s? Men are compelled to bury their emotion within and keep it hidden in fear that they will lose even an inch of their manly credibility’s and a woman, well here she goes again with the flood works. The man’s tears should not be a surprise and a woman’s shouldn’t be predictable and less significant.
Each one of us is made to celebrate the good and suffer the bad moments. Men are imprisoned in gender stereotypes just as much as women. Feeling trapped, lonely and unable to express so they bottle, bottle everything they feel until an explosion such as suicide ends in all. Suicide, is amongst the top 3 killers in Maori and non-Maori men across NZ. So why do we kid ourselves of these facts the statistics don’t lie, because a man can be so strong, yet so vulnerable and a woman can be sensitive, yet very independent.
Men can be advocates for change in the path away from inequality, just as much as a woman.
Men everywhere are insecure and afraid of expectations that lie on their shoulders in the form of success.
Until the stereotypical view of a woman’s strength and capability is changed, I am not complete. A man is not complete. Until he is capable to show his vulnerability and express true human emotion without the judgement and surprise, he is not complete. We are not complete until we are equals to the other counterparts that surround us. The struggle is real for uniting as one but when he is for she and she is for he we begin to take a step forward. A quote from Emma Watson “if not me then who? If not now then when?” I am a woman……..