WhyNot

I am not your daughter.

Words by Jessica, 23 NSW

Content Warning
This article contains themes of sexual assault, harassment and violence towards women which may be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can seek support from the following services or visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services.

1800RESPECT – 1800 737 732
Lifeline – 13 11 14

She was found alone,
Strewn in bushes much like the rest.
She looked like she had put up a fight,
But she did not pass the test.

Her eyes will never open again.
Her friends will never hear her laugh.
Her family is left confused and wondering,
Why couldn’t he just leave her be?
Why couldn’t he just let her pass?

And you might see her on the news.
Another one to add to the list.
Of women being
violated
attacked
killed
Or perhaps it might be missed.

Because we march
And we cry,
And we stand outside parliament demanding for better,
Demanding that someone does more.

It’s hard to be taken seriously,
When our political leaders
Denounce allegations of rape and sexual assault,
that happened behind their own doors.

Australia – the lucky country
What a grand place to be.
Where you are mostly safe,

Australia – the lucky country
What a grand place to be.
Where you are mostly safe,
mostly equal,
mostly heard,
At least on paper – it would seem.

But when paper is laced in promises
That unravel more fiction than fact.
It leaves you wondering about what kind of
Standards are set,
For how men can act.

How lucky is it?
That we can march
And protest
Without being met with bullets
Or stones.

For women who are being attacked
Every minute, every hour, every day
By strangers or by men they know
Inside their workplace or their homes.

How lucky.

How grateful we should be,
That men in the highest positions of power
In this country
Care.

Publicly, being a voice
For the cause.
Privately,
Making female colleagues’ lives
A nightmare.

So, forgive me for not ‘drinking the Kool-Aid.’
Forgive me for having questions.
Forgive me for having doubts
About the degree to which our political leaders
Give a damn about
Women rights.

Because all we are met with is this game,
Of face and of façade.
Speak one thing but be another,
Pretend to care but it’s a farce.

There’s not democracy in saying no,
There’s nothing political about wanting
To be in an equal place.
But it’s hard to ever see the light
When at the highest levels of our country
Women are still not safe.

Because if it was their sister,
Or their daughter,
Or even their best friend,
Suddenly it means something.
Suddenly our value magically extends.

But when we’re not, the decision will sway.
The man at the front shouting, ‘Women’s rights!’
Will suddenly,
Quietly,
Move the other way.

The same decision that men who are our friends,
make to justify demanding another nude.
The same decision that men in clubs have,
When they grope us without consent?
The same decision that men use when they choose to rape and kill us,
Because we are no one and mean nothing to them.

How lucky.

I am not the prime minister’s daughter,
But if he closes his eyes and he imagines,
My problems seem more real – they exist.
And that is why the system will always fail us.
Because it is based in delusions like this.

Illustration by AileenYou can find more of her work on Instagram @aileenetc

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