Dear Daughter: poem, protest, open letter to future daughters

Dear Daughter,

I can’t promise to bubble wrap you up against the world that still sees ‘doing it like a girl’ as a playground insult
your beautiful body shouldn’t have to be a war zone or a subject for debate because
it’s yours and only yours but some don’t see it that way
I can’t promise that you’ll receive that same salary or even respect as your brothers
and that you won’t be accused of throwing a tantrum when you point out the injustice
and I can’t promise you that you won’t face words that cut
that you won’t be called a slut or a whore
but I can promise you that you are worth so much more than the state of your hymen
and despite what they say, menstruation isn’t a dirty word
you do not have to be ashamed
I hope you never have to fear dark nights or alleyways the way we did
and that your voice is always heard whether you are saying yes or no, the way mine wasn’t
you are loved, so loved, and will be loved by another man, women or other
because of this
I will promise to bring you up on Angelou, Chanel, and Malala
so that your voice doesn’t shake when you speak your mind
and you don’t get told you’re lying
you will be more than pretty, more than your body
you will have soul, and most importantly opportunity
I promise to stand up for myself, so that I can fight for your future, every day of my life
I won’t do as I’m told and cross my legs or mind my fucking words, I’ll be
smashing glass ceilings with stiletto heels, being the boss in men’s fields
writing poems to speak the truth that others are too scared to admit
because they are afraid that they might look like the bad guy
well, sometimes doing the right thing doesn’t feel heroic
but I will carve out a world that is worthy of you
so that by the time this gets to you, things shall have changed
by the time this gets to you, things will be so much better
so please, dearest daughter, tell your daughters what we did
and that we tried.

By Kimberly Jamison

So background, I wrote this for a competition which is why I did not put it up here but it didn’t get accepted. I submitted it elsewhere and it still didn’t. I think my point is still worth making and I actually LOVE performing this poem because I feel powerful doing so. This is why I finally posted it here. I got over the rejection and realised I still liked it, so why not?!
So here you go.

My letter to future daughters.

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