by Yasmine Diaz |
Because I understood at too young of an age that I should be ashamed of my body.
Because it was painfully clear that my brothers were of greater value than my sisters and I.
Because I was taught that when I menstruated I was impure.
Because I was to be responsible to a man my entire life.
Because the family’s reputation was more important than my well-being or happiness.
Because I disagreed with all of this.
Because my sister was forced to marry a man who would turn out to be a violent and abusive husband
and when she confided to our parents of his abuse, they told her to go back and try again
because a man is permitted to beat his wife.
Because I was to have no choice in the person I would marry.
Because nothing was worth sacrificing the freedom I wanted and knew I deserved.
Because had I ever expressed what I truly felt, I would likely not be alive today.
Yasmine Diaz is a Yemeni-American artist based in Los Angeles. Her work has been featured in the BBC News, the Albuquerque Museum of Art, and is on permanent display at the UCLA School of Public Affairs. She is interested in the stories and environments of those who share experiences of being raised within multiple and often opposing cultures.