The secrets of the dominant patriarchal plant

by Faiza Manzoor

Pacing back and forth,
11pm at night,
Redrafting and editing my work again,
To make sure it is precisely right.

The work in which I have become so invested, caffeine filled days and nights,
And yet can’t expect to receive the same as Jim from the office,
Despite equal pay entailed, in basic human rights.

But it would probably help if i applied a slick of red and unbearably tall heels,
And exercised all day, missed out all my meals,
If I smiled and accepted all the cat-calls and leers,
Then perhaps,
Statistics will be right,
And the gender gap will close
In one hundred and eighteen years.

For every dollar a man makes,
A Latina woman makes a measly fifty seven cents,
The thriving plant of dominant patriarchy,
Watered every day,
With roots
Extensive and dense.

They say America is the land of opportunity,
They were speaking to the middle aged straight white man.
Because of independent,
Hard working women,
America does not appear to be a fan.

In the UK, the pay gap has changed,
‘Relatively little’,
An issue seldom discussed,
Its’ nature deemed controversial and brittle.

The pay gap, steady,
At around a £100 a week,
The secrets of the dominant patriarchal plant, are slowly beginning to leak.

For every man or woman, mocking a Tumblr feminist quote,
Is a girl in rural India, forced to marry, in exchange for the gift of a goat,
Because girls working to them, already makes no sense,
If all they earn barely extends beyond the British equivalent of a pence,
If in the first world we cannot give women the same,
Then how can we criticise the third world, and give them the blame,
For we should be the ones with heads hanged in shame,
For treating women as inferior players of a male dominated game.