When I walk on the street, you ask me, “How much do you cost?”
When I drive a car, you tell me to “go home and wash the clothes”
I was waiting for a taxi in the rain, yet you horrified me and deliberately sat in the taxi
And then pretended sleepiness to touch your body to mine

When you fight in the street, you swear at all mothers and sisters 
When all the mothers and sisters ever did was support you
I can’t extend my foot at the park because of you 
Should I be suppressed until you save your religion?

You did not get married, and you called marriage “stupid”
I did not get married, and you called me “overripe”
When you fall in love, you keep me within your selfish curb
When I fall in love, you say only if your mother should accept me

I should wash; I should cook
But only you get the education to become a doctor   
When I ask you to take care of our child, you say, “The baby is for the mother”
When we divorce, you say, “The baby is for the father”

But not anymore
I don’t need you; I don’t need you to bring me food
I don’t need you to be my protector 
I can be my protector; I can find food for myself

I will snatch my rights from you; I will not give you my child
I will not sell myself for you
I am happy with you, yes; but I can be happy without you, too
I have learned that for my happiness I don’t need any man’s love

I know my rights; you can call me overripe, if you wish
But you can’t be my life’s partner until you become an understanding human
And have the ability, humility and honor  
You will have to understand that to be part of my life

If you behave like your father did
You will lose me immediately
It is possible to become your friend and partner
But I will not be your property

By Leeda

Art by Shamsia Hassani; photo by Omar Sobhani / Reuters