Character by Taslima Nasrin
You’re a girl
and you’d better not forget
that when you cross the threshold of your house
men will look askance at you.
When you keep on walking down the lane
men will follow you and whistle.
When you cross the lane and step onto the main road
men will revile you, call you a loose woman.
If you’ve no character
you’ll turn back,
and if you have
you’ll keep on going
as you’re going now.