Sara Anum Hussain

Country: United Kingdom

I’m currently serving as a trainee journalist for a national newspaper whilst advocating for causes that are important to me. Being an intersectional feminist has led me to become aware of the wider world and has prompted me to educate myself on matter that need addressing. I have a passion for writing and always have since I was a child.

My attempts at poetry

Secondary School 

Growing up is hard enough,

It’s even harder when you have to be doubly tough.

Going to school as the only Asian girl in my year,

I went to school most days in fear.

Which terrifying reality awaits me today?

It always made me feel some type of way,

But at that point I was scared,

13-years-old, you just wanted to fit into that mould.

But when you’re brown like me, you’d always stick out.

My soul was heavy, and I was always filled with doubt.

It always starts the same way: 

‘’Hey I have nothing against immigrants but,’’

As if anything good ever comes after that sentence.

‘’I just don’t agree with them coming here and taking our jobs’’, 

People like us will never gain their acceptance.

Because my dad’s a taxi driver who started as a cleaner and I’m so damn proud 

But there was a time where I wouldn’t say that out loud 

Because he made so many sacrifices 

So that his kids could have the world at their feet 

Little did he know, the world is rampant with racism that runs too deep

For his children to get further if they wanted too

You see I could count the black students, the Asian students and the minority students on two hands 

When there was an issue with one white kid and a black child, I wonder where the blame lands

Actually no I don’t because the headteacher actually said to black students whose only mistake was hanging out with friends 

‘You shouldn’t be hanging around in groups, you guys look like you’re in one of those gangs’ 

A story like this 

There’s a time as a girl that you realise you’re not safe

Where the gaze on you is different 

Where it isn’t frowned upon to carry around mace

Or a weapon, mainly for your safety 

I’m in Pakistan and roaming the streets with my mum and sister

I’m groped for the first time 

I freeze, not knowing what to do

I didn’t even make an attempt to move. 

Fast forward to my second year of uni,

Where she felt so free, she thought ‘’nothing could ruin me.’’ (Or so she thought)

She should have seen the red flags 

It hurt every damn time they had sex

He would say

‘’Maybe if you weren’t so stressed it would hurt less’’

She was so young, ‘’I thought there was something wrong with me’’,

Is what she used to think

‘’I should comply, because who else would want my mess?’’

She let him enter her body again and again 

But she should let him right? Because good girls don’t deny their boyfriend

It’s when she wasn’t in the mood 

But she was too scared to move

Scared he would scream ‘‘why are you giving me all this attitude?’’

That’s the reality of a woman in this world,

Abusers won’t care unless you’re willing to comply with a smile.

She said ‘’no’’, but he didn’t listen 

And she didn’t tell one frickin’ (fucking) person. 

She always said ‘this could never happen to me’

At the time she was helping sexual violence survivors

And she just wanted to scream 

That’s the motherfucking irony 

She was screaming at the world that this was not okay 

All the while she was so quiet, in front of her family and friends

She was playing the happy girlfriend role like an actor putting on a play.

For two years she kept her mouth shut 

Even when she spoke up, she couldn’t hold it together 

Crying over and over again, she physically felt the pain like my throat had been cut 

Honour and shame came into play,

Fearing that those around her would blame her, she would dread the day

She didn’t want to tell her family because she thought they’d tell her dad, 

She said: ‘’even though he ruined a part of me, 

I didn’t want him to face my family when they were mad.’’

As a result he’s still out living his life, fully free. 

She once told me she wanted to commit suicide, 

Because the pain was becoming harder to hide. 

Honestly, she was hanging on by a thread,

She cried: ‘’I thought it would have left me for dead. 

For that I’m sorry to my family and all of my friends’’

She didn’t think about how you would have coped if she met her end. 

It’s when I had to listen to my little sister cry

I thought I saw the weight of the world on her that night

When she told me how he thought he had a right

Please tell me who has the right to stick their hands in your jeans 

And then have the nerve to blame you as you struggle to break free

It’s when my best friend had to keep a secret 

For years and years and then accepted ‘rape’ as one of her fears

She literally waited for it to happen

Because it happened to so many womxn she held dear. 

These stories are scary but they become worse when you’re a minority

Those who are poor, struggling and deprived 

the world does not support them 

Even if their stories are untainted fact 

There will always be something or someone holding the truth back

And, no it’s not evidence these survivors lack. 

These stories exist when you’re trans, gay, lesbian, bisexual 

Instances of forced marriage and FGM

There is less uproar and support for them.

Their childhoods ripped at the seams 

Fewer people have listened to their screams. 

The people who are taken in warzones,

To be sex slaves and tortured their entire lives

Whilst soldiers who occupy go back home like nothing happened

The country they belong to gives them patriotic high fives. 

From the top of the food chain, 

Don’t forget the royal name, those who are in the spotlight use their fame

The types of predators who do this are all the same. 

It’s because Priti Patel 

can send a girl at risk of FGM back 

To the place that would make her life hell.

Comfort women are still fighting for apologies, 

Meanwhile, their abusers were free to live happily,

I honestly wonder how they sleep.

Because for our survival supporting this cause is essential 

If everyone of us were free, could you imagine the potential?

For womxn to feel safe no matter where or when they went out

So I am urging every single person, to use the voice they have to shout

We don’t campaign and protest because it’s fun

We rally and cry because in 2020, there is still too much work to be done.

Because girls are still set on fire after being raped 

For coming forward, after being consistently shamed.

Trust me when I say 

every girl that dares to exist 

Will have a story like this. 

Angry Women 

Inspired by Halsey’s ‘’Nightmare’’ and her poem ‘’Inconvenient Women’’ 

I love angry women 

Because they speak their truth 

In a way that’s not been accepted before 

But angry women are seen as rude. 

See, I’ve been told I’m too angry and emotional 

And the worse that’s happened is I’ve argued with my family 

I used to get upset but now I’ve learned I don’t care 

But the stigma of angry women exists beyond me 

When an angry women in a traditional South Asian setting dares speak 

She’ll be told to stay in her place, they’ll tell her 

‘’There’s no honour in being a loud opinionated wife’’, not even asking if that’s what she wants

In fact to her family, she’s nothing more than a disgrace 

‘‘Izaat ke baat hai’’*

Her dad will say: ‘‘It’s about respect’’

She’ll respond: ‘‘Where’s the respect in thinking your daughter is intellectually inept?’’

That’s when the violence occurs

When the men of the family decide they won’t hear it anymore 

And they kill her, because she didn’t learn

To keep her mouth shut, that’s when being labelled an ‘angry woman’ gets you killed.

Because as an angry woman, by not shutting up and submitting there’s a duty you haven’t fulfilled. 

Being black and angry in the eyes of society earns you a death sentence.

You don’t get to be angry, you must be submissive so you aren’t stereotyped and labelled.

Only to be pushed to the side, with nothing more than a small mention.

Her boss will say ‘’How dare she ask for a promotion? Who does she think she is?’’

Meanwhile, she’s having suicidal thoughts in the lift 

That’s the thing, people can easily overlook

Because black women are treated like they shouldn’t have success

Because their success is an opportunity they shouldn’t have took.

Being a gay woman and angry, now that’s not so simple 

You’re only there for the male gaze

As you’re standing there with your girlfriend

The man shouted ‘‘you should kiss and give us a show’’

How do people like this exist, that’s when it becomes a daze 

She splashed her drink in his face, overcome with rage

‘’Who the fuck are you talking too?,

‘’I won’t perform for you like I’m on a stage!’’

I’ve been told I have an interesting brain

And honestly, I give nothing more than a sigh.

Because if they really knew what happened up there,

they’d never understand the ‘weapon in my mind’.

I used to say ‘I’m sorry for being so inconvenient’,

Hoping that their words would soften and become more lenient.

But I slowly learned that there is nothing wrong with angry women,

And if someone has a problem with that then I’ll fight back;

Ignore their words, because God forbid I ever let these dickheads catch me slippin’.

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