How She Wears It

Beautifully well.


With a smile

Of course, you are never fully dressed without a smile

So she wears her pain beautifully well, with a smile.

Simply because she has the unfortunate identity ‘she’

With a sad smile you’ll never see

A sad smile on a happy face

’cause she’s got to smile for the camera

With society behind the camera

Judging her every step

Criticising her actions and inactions


She wears it bent

Bent in subservience

Bent in forceful obeisance

Bent in neo-enslavement

She wears her society termed inferior self

Painfully well


She wears it first as a daughter

When father refuses to enter the maternal ward

On discovering that his first child is female

When father says a girl’s education is a waste

And contributes zilch to her formal training

While eagerly awaiting her bride price

She wears it next as a 29 year old single lady

When mother hounds her to bring home just any suitor

When society calls her an old maid

When society has no place for her in its fold

When society begins to malign her name

She wears this ridicule behind the most beautiful smile you’ll ever see


When she becomes a wife,

When in-laws whisper at her back for being barren only two years in marriage

When in-laws already have a long list of names for her male child

While she is only 4 weeks along and is yet to go for pre-natal scan

When in-laws admonish her for presenting the food late while she is 6 months pregnant

She still wears her pain in beautiful silence


She wears it in complete subservience

When honey tells her to leave her well-paying job

Simply because she earns higher than he does

She wears her sub humanness in total submission

When honey loses his job, takes to drinking

And makes her his punching bag


She wears her pain selflessly well

When her children call her mother of sorrows

Because she still calls their father a good man

After seeing all the bruises he has inflicted on her

When she calls Honey ‘Olowoorimi’

While limping from the beating he just gave her


She endures all these in painful silence

Simply because society has termed woman

‘sub human’.

She must wear her pain regally

While dying gradually,

Slowly on the inside


And this is how she wears her feminine identity.

I'm passionate about a world where gender is not an algorithm for anything except pregnancy, that's why I write, to spur fellow women to fight for equality.

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