When people use fund-raising and donations,
As ways to pacify their rising guilt.
When trafficking destroys a generation,
And shelters are unfunded and unbuilt.
When children under ten are mutilated
For sinful natures they do not possess.
When bodies are both lusted for and hated,
And violence is blamed on how she’s dressed.
When healthcare is denied to those who need it,
And twisted morals fuel indignities.
When foul abuse remains an open secret
And all of us display complicity.
When shame is used to drown dissenting voices,
And threats of death are served to those who speak.
When we are all denounced for all our choices,
Deriding and defamed for being weak.
When half of us are crying out for freedom,
And rape is just another act of war.
How can we say that we’re all truly equal?
The damage runs too deep to be ignored.
When contradictions frame our social system,
And men and women are condemned to fight.
The only way to win is to resist it;
There’s exponential strength if we unite.
When anyone can speak, without reprisal,
And no one suffers hatred or misuse.
And when we understand that we aren’t rivals,
And when the cuffs we built ourselves hang loose.
When we come to value every person,
As worthy of respect and dignity
Then, and only then, can we be certain
We will have achieved equality.