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.

Marwa Sharafeldin
30 November 2012
  • 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.



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