A poem for all Kenyans affected by the stripping of women in the streets, for all the men who think they can define “provocative dressing” by any measurable terms, for all my Kenyan sisters fighting this uncouth practice, and mostly for the women who have been stripped off their clothes and their dignity. We shall overcome.
STRIP ME NOT!!!
I briskly walk,
On phone I talk,
This man he stalks,
I fasten my pace,
I glance at his face,
It has no grace
Like a hawk eyeing its prey
Oh God protect me I pray
I look aside
Another man my looks he chides
Disgustingly beholding me
From my head to the feet of me
I look behind
Another man is looking at my behind
A circle of men begins to enfold me
Oh God, how sad my fate shall be!
Yes I watched the news yesterday
How they stripped my sister in the light of day
Claimed her skirt was not up to their standards
So I wore my jeans to please these bastards
I measured my skirt-length in centimetres
How short is too short a skirt?
My hips width I know in millimetres
Oh God, how tight a pant is too tight?
God it’s like a movie
How he grabs me this bully
Another screams “Strip her!”
Another grabs my phone, ha!
I beg for freedom, on my knees I bend
But these men on me they descend
Pulling, pushing, my jeans unbuttoning
Oh God their blows are demeaning
One, two, three seconds, and I will be naked
One more moment, a video-clip of this be circulated
One woman tries to help me, one man grabs my bra strap
One leg is now bare, the onlookers begin to clap
Take me LORD, how will I live with this shame?
Passers-by jeer, why do they think this is a game?
My pride is stripped, my honour is gone
Oh God, tell me you hear my groan
The breeze beats upon my naked flesh, I try to rise
I see my accusers, the punishers of my dress size
They disappear as they came, their lesson they have taught
Assure me LORD, to justice they shall be brought
My tattered clothes, the little pieces I pick
My other sister covers me with a shawl, we barely speak
We are torn, but shall live on, shall live to fight these pricks
Oh God, not another of our sisters shall be stripped