Letters to my Daughter (4): Surviving




By Ayanda Xaba, South Africa

Dear Daughter,

Once you get older you’ll realize that life is a battlefield

You need to be strong

Mentally, physically, and socially

You don’t need to fight with fists

Let your mind be wise enough

Your words powerful enough

And your body strong enough to walk away

Walking away isn’t a weakness

It takes strength to admit that you’ve had enough

Don’t feel bad for being different

You were not meant to be like everybody else

So stand your ground and go for what you want

There are guidelines for women to ‘be safe from rapists’

You’ll soon learn that men are never blamed for their wrongs

Rather, women are taught to avoid ‘provoking’ these men

They’ll tell you to change the way you dress

To stay away from the streets before darkness comes

You’ll be judged for liking sports

Be told you’re not being a lady

Don’t let it faze you

They’ll be people in your corner, me being your biggest cheerleader

We’ll support you and help you be the best you can be

The clothes you wear, or the sexual orientation you choose

Does not give anyone permission to rape you

Don’t let the filth in this world to rob you of life

Live fully; love, laugh, go crazy

Use words as your swords

I trust in your strength

You’ll be the best woman you could ever be.

Love you always;





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