International Girls Day Poem Analysis

862 Words4 Pages
NOT GOOD ENOUGH? Sexism: a social disease, an epidemic that kills slowly, preventable yet ignored by the unaffected half of the world’s population. Alexandria Wai explores the theme of sexism through classic poems. What is prejudice? What is discrimination? What is oppression, bias, bigotry? In modern day society, sexism is an issue that women face everyday. Whether it’s in the workplace, at home, or in school - gender discrimination affects women all across the world. Women facing sexism are denied jobs, paid less, sold off into marriage, told by men to “make me a sandwich”, “act like a lady”; and more often than not, being the “weaker” gender can become overwhelming. The feeling of being less than the male counterpart pushes some into…show more content…
Her poems are inspired by her beliefs and are typically focused on women and the beauty of equality. Her poem, “International Girls Day”, focuses on the discrimination and double standards women face as they struggle to stay alive in a world dominated by men. Janice Mirikitani is a Japanese-American poet and dancer. Her poetry mainly revolves around controversial subjects such as war, racism and sexism, often creating these themes through elaborate, enigmatic narrations. In “Suicide Note”, she explores the prejudices that pressures a ambitious young girl into suicide. Lam’s International Girls Day is styled in a way that allows the author to bring light to a range of issues that women face. The almost simplistic structure of the poem allows the author to present an extremely diverse portrayal of sexism, ranging from a first-world woman facing inequality in the workplace to a woman living in poverty, struggling to support her children’s most basic needs as men exploit her. This style of poetry is extremely effective in conveying the theme of sexism as the range of representations lends both relatability to the reader and sheds light on issues that other women face, each story and issue mentioned helping in the reinforcement of the main idea - exploitation of women. The author utilises a simple writing style - each line is short, starting with a repeating word - “who”. The use of the word “who”…show more content…
Both poems aim to convey the severity of the issue of sexism. Both also extend their points into showing how, women, from a young age, are discouraged from their dreams and are told that they are less than males, oppressed and exploited by males for their own advantage. In International Girls Day, Lam conveys this concept through straightforward phrases “Who has been told she can 't attend school although her brothers can”, “Who is stoned for a rape that male judges call adultery”, “Who weeps or who can no longer weep / because of the men who trespass her body;” ; and thinly veiled references, “Who is beaten and fearful; who is beaten, but fearless”, “Who is starved because she speaks out, speaks back, just speaks”, “Who has had acid thrown on her dreams”. Therefore, through the use of many different language devices and techniques, both poems manage to convey a complex, clear stance on the topic of
Open Document