My women shine with power. Under the roofs of their houses, under the layers of their fabrics, they possess a fortress of flowers and light, where they resist by praying, making, listening, by whispering songs under their breath.
An impenetrable castle.
The women in my country are individually defiant. They do not take to the streets shouting “oppression is enough” hand in hand with one another. Veiled, they clench their fists, wipe tears from their eyes, swallow their hatred, go to the kitchen, turn on the radio, in that castle that smells of daffodils and tea and cardamom, and calmly add saffron to freshly brewed rice.
The women of my land protest with love. They remain women and go to the patriarchal battleground with the powerful femininity that was given to them by their mothers.
They bring misogyny to its knees while whispering an old song.