What does it mean to be a woman Does it mean to be less of a human And to be more of an animal Respected for only it's purpose And not it's qualities Is it to spend your entire life mistreated For not fulfilling your duties To live your life dictated By others "Am I not your brother?" Am I not equal to you Or is equality just another bed time story Told to put me to rest. I am just another pawn in a man's game Used and abused but never appreciated That's my understanding of a woman Can a woman only make it If she shows cleavage Is it her only way to have leverage Leverage over her peers and society Do men see my body as a gift And my clothes as wrapping Would respect be improved If I took part in acts so crude Is my body my only key To open the doors of life To avoid the struggle and strife All I want to do is make it in this life They say the eyes Are the windows to the soul But how can one have a soul When his eyes are as a black as death When his intentions Are dark and twisted I must call him my superior Because he has control over my future He could destroy me If he decided to So my only choice Is to do whatever he wants His words were sudden But what he proposed could remove my burden. What he promised Could unload the bags under my eyes Could cause my income to rise As long as I let him inside. I knew I could not stay locked forever But I never knew forever ended today So I let him enjoy the ride But at the cost of my pride. The world sang a song of grief For my confidence had died. The universe held a burial A burial for my self esteem. For how could I live with myself, When I could not even value my self. How could I be the woman I wanted to be When I became the woman men wanted to see. I lost everything And became nothing . What I lost was not worth gaining anything . "Jasmine keep silent " he said. I had no choice As a woman I had no voice It is always muted Put on hold And held as insignificant My tears are a statement A message that needs to be heard A message of what it means to be a woman.