See Me, See You: A Spoken Word For All My Brothers.⁣

See me, see you.⁣
Yes, I am a woman, but see you.⁣
See me, see your mother.⁣
See me, see your sister.
See your daughter, see your wife.⁣

When you hurt me, call me bitch and whore, you degrade your mother. When you objectify me, rape me, defame me, you subjugate your sister.⁣

See me, see you.⁣
Hear me, hear you.⁣
Yes, I am a woman, but see you.⁣
See your helpmate, see your confidant. See the woman that will stand with you in adversity and bear your children with dignity.⁣

See me, see you.⁣
See promise, see my future.⁣
See the fear you place in my eyes when by your actions, by your words, you steal my innocence.⁣
See another being that bears the image and likeness of God the exact same way that you do.⁣
See your future. See your promise, see your gift, when you see me.⁣

Photograph by Francesco Bellina

⁣When you demean me, harass me, inappropriately touch me, undress me in your mind, you explicitly sanction another man to do the same to your mother, to your sister, to your wife. To your six year old daughter.⁣

When you see me, see you.⁣
Introduce me by my name. Look me in the eyes and lust after my brain, not my body.⁣ Trust that my goals, my dreams, my desires are the same as your mother’s, your sister’s, your daughter’s. I too want to be loved, cherished and treasured. I too want to accomplish my purpose and fulfill God’s divine destiny.⁣

See me, see you.⁣
I am not for sale. And it is not okay to purchase parts of my body for your pleasure. I am worth my weight in gold. When I speak, listen. Take me off mute and hear my voice echo intelligence because I too have something to say, something to contribute and something I was born to deposit here.⁣

Do not force me to measure up to standards that are beneath me solely to accommodate your ego and male privilege. Quality does not compromise. Instead, stand with me, rise with me, anchor me.⁣

Yes, I am a woman, but see you.⁣
I am your mother. I am your sister. I am your wife. I am your daughter.⁣

When you see me, you see you.⁣

#EndRape #SheSaidNo #WeCantBreathe #WeAreTired
#ChildMarriageIsRape #TakeMeOffMute

Lead table turner and expert troublemaker at Pathfinders Justice Initiative (www.pathfindersji.org); curating more space for women at the table. @findyrpath