A Revolutionary woman

A poem by Marwa Sharafeldin. Part of a series of poems by African feminist writers for 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence.

  • You talk to me about your austerity measures
  • The need to copyright my past, present and future
  • To relieve your financial crisis pressures 
  • I have to tighten my belt and work hard 
  • For somehow, I have to save the banking system 
  • So it can save me and my daily, hard work pleasures
  •  
  • I am told that the financial architecture is designed 
  • So that abundance overflows
  • from rich to poor, 
  • strong to powerless, 
  • man to woman,
  • But all I can see in your architecture ... is bad plumbing 
  • Clogged pipes everywhere 
  • Congested with your investments 
  • And my assortment of hard-earned debts
  •  
  • But you better watch it, for you really can’t beat me
  • I’m used to tying your free trade with my free labour
  • Your market economy with my care economics
  • Your fiscal policy with the welfare of my tenderness...
  • But not for you, for those I love...
  • And in my love lies my revolution
  • So don’t get too comfortable
  • Because I am a revolutionary woman
  •  
  • Did you know of the kind of world that I desire? 
  • My fickle warrior heart, and my eyes that shine like fire?
  • My dancing step and my strong working hands?
  • That knead our freedom together without tire
  • My deep wild laughter 
  • At the colourful dreams to which I aspire?
  • Don’t let my thunderous silence fool you
  • For I shall never honour your economic ceasefire
  • Don’t get too comfortable
  • I’m a revolutionary woman
  •  
  • I am all too aware that you need me
  • Can you survive without my loving free labour?
  • Without the royalty of my generous nature?
  • Can your empires last one second if I decide to with-hold
  • The abundance of my one dollar?
  • What if all of us decide to do so?
  • What happens to your profits 
  • If my womb decides to hibernate
  • No more babies for this world
  • And no more consumers for this market
  • What if I ... decide again to Occupy?
  • A new market, a new system, a new justice
  • Never forget
  • Your power comes from my acquiescence
  • To my legion of beloved friends, sisters and mothers
  • ‘The street is ours!’...once said an old ancient mama sage
  • Its true you know, all it takes nowadays, is one facebook event page
  • Let us then see you cower ... under the surge of this woman power
  • So don’t get too comfortable
  • I’m a revolutionary woman
  •  
  • Untamed minds and boundless dreams
  • Ablaze with all possibilities
  • Equality justice and solidarity 
  • Connecting our joint bloodstreams
  • I pluck the stars and scatter them around us
  • Its an old protection ritual for the adventurous
  • Be prepared...
  • For I know the smell of revolution when its a brewin’
  • Don’t get too comfortable...
  • ‘Cause in front of me lies, a terrifying bunch, of revolutionary women.

 

This poem was originally published in Development 55, (September 2012).

Read other articles in the series, 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence 2012.

 

 

About the author

Marwa Sharafeldin is an Egyptian women’s rights activist committed to removing the boundaries between the political, the social, the artistic and the radical. She is a board member of Musawah, the international movement for equality and justice in the Muslim family. Marwa is a co-founder of the Network of Women's Rights Organizations in Egypt and several other women’s rights organizations in Egypt. She is completing her doctorate in Law at the University of Oxford.