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I think she was a she

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I think she was a she

  1. 1. I THINK SHE WAS A SHE.. B Y L E Y L A J O S E P H I N E
  2. 2. AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION • Leyla Josephine is an artist originally from Glasgow, now residing in Prestwick. She is a performance poet, theatre maker, and screenwriter. • Leyla graduated from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2013 from BA Contemporary Performance Practice. • Leyla Josephine writes on a wide range of issues. In 2014, her spoken word piece 'I Think She Was A She’, she shared her poem at Merchant City festival on Brunswick Stage. • Her unapologetic account of a teenage abortion made waves across the country. • She came out and said something phenomenally brave about why she made that very personal decision to have an abortion.
  3. 3. AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTION • She has had poems featured in The National, The Scotsman, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Upworthy, BBC Scotland, BBC Radio 4, BBC Social and Gutter magazine. • Leyla has extensive experience as a facilitator and project leader working in lots of different social contexts creating poetry and theatre with participants. She is currently the Schools Writer in Residence for Edinburgh International Book Festival. • Leyla also writes for film and was one of the writer’s picked for Scottish Film Talent Network’s Write4Film and for Scottish Shorts. She is currently working on two upcoming shorts - Groom and Dingied.
  4. 4. POEM TEXT LINK http://elarciniegas.blogspot.com/2019/12/leyla-josephine-i-think-she- was-she.html
  5. 5. BACKGROUND • Leyla Josephine and her piece “I think she was a SHE” is not just a spoken word poetry inspired by ‘pro-abortion choice’, but it certainly her experience penned down to raise awareness • The piece “recounts the abortion she had as a teenager and the cultural shame she’s been constantly confronted with ever since,” • Abortion rights are not just about terminating a pregnancy, or a pro-choice dilemma, it is also about women that have health risk, financial barriers surrounding the pregnancy, single parenthood, teenage pregnancies, rape/harassment pregnancies, forced pregnancies, and abortions performed due to the gender of the baby.
  6. 6. POEM ANALYSIS “I am not ashamed. I am not ashamed. I’m so sick of keeping these words contained. I am not ashamed. Here recounts the abortion she had as a teenager and the cultural shame she’s been constantly confronted with ever since. She declares her power over her body as she reminds us that a woman exercising her right to choose is not uncommon — and should never be shamefully brushed under the rug. She starts off the piece by proclaiming that her fetus was a she, and then continues to describe how she would've inherited things from her mother and father I think she was a she. No. I know she was a she and I think that she would have looked just like me. full cheeks, hazel eyes and thick brown hair. She would have been like you too, long limbs with a sarcastic smile. and the newest pair of kicks. She would have been tough, tougher than I ever was. She talks about all the places Leyla would've taken here, all the things she could have seen and I would have taken her to all the museums and there she could see the bone dinosaurs. and look to them and wonder about all the things that came before she was born. She could have been born. “I would’ve supported her right to choose. To choose a life for herself, a path for herself. I would’ve died for that right like she died for mine. I’m sorry, but you came at the wrong time,” Josephine is unapologetic as she describes why she had an abortion and how it was truly the right decision for her, and also claiming the support to pro-choice for future generations
  7. 7. POEM ANALYSIS Don’t you mutter murder on me. 70,000 per year. 70,000 per year. 70,000 per year. Dead. Thats’s 192 per day. She quotes the ratio of cases annually and per day, creating awareness about how many times this process is being conducted, and yet people apart from that woman getting it done, have a say in it. She addresses the need for not just sex education, but also stresses the choices one makes out of human nature, that take a tole on a woman’s life but not a mans. I was a teenage girl with a boy she loved between her thighs that felt very far away. Duvet days and dole don’t do family planning well. Here she addresses the ratio of the UK population, of times women get abortion done. She also satirizes her post-abortive self to steel and the act of tearing her child apart to chopping down a cherry tree. I am one in three. I am one in three. I am one in three. I had to carve down that little cherry tree that had rooted itself in my blood and blossomed in my brain. A responsibility I didn’t have the energy or age to maintain. I am not ashamed. It’s a hollowness, that feels full, a numbness that feels heavy. stop trying to fit how this feels on an NHS bereavement brochure already. I am allowed to feel it all, I am allowed to feel. Here she addresses the shame attached to the deed. And also, how people dehumanize the experience but in reality, is it very much human.
  8. 8. POEM ANALYSIS “When I become a mother, it will be when I choose.” Josephine perfectly sums up the message behind her poem, proudly stating this. She declares her power over her body continues to voice her story to actively proclaim the need to start a narrative about abortion rights. She highlights the hypocrisy of not only people that force women to have an unwanted child, but also how they manipulate them into not having one. And yet in the end, they call pro- choice women murderers Don’t you mutter murder on me. Worldwide performing abortion like homework Women have been cheated out of history because it’s “his story.” Here she asserts it’s time to take history back. She continues to voice her story to actively proclaim the need to start a narrative about abortion rights “This is her story. Our story. Goddamnit this is my story, and it will not be written in pencil and erased with guilt. It will be written in pain and spoken in courage.” this is my story and it won't be written in pencil and erased with guilt. It will be written in pen and spoken with courage. Finally, she asserts that this is no one’s but her story. And she is not ashamed, she has owned her choice, and has vowed to speak about it with courage
  9. 9. FEMINIST THEME • Abortion-rights movements, also referred to as pro-choice movements, seeks out to represent and support women who wish to abort their fetus at any point during their pregnancy. This movement puts forth efforts to establish a right for women to freely make the choice to have an abortion without the discrimination based on their decision. • Anti-abortion laws enacted in the latter half of the 19th century were a result of advocacy efforts by feminists who worked in an uneasy alliance with the male-dominated medical profession and the mainstream media. • The early feminists understood that much like today, women resorted to abortion because they were abandoned or pressured by boyfriends, husbands and parents and lacked financial resources to have a baby on their own. • NOW (National Organization for Women) has made the preservation of legal abortion its number one priority. Its literature repeatedly states that access to abortion is “the most fundamental right of women, without which all other rights are meaningless.”
  10. 10. FEMINIST THEME • All too often in OUR country and around the world, abortion is treated as something inherently political, something radical that is part of a conflict on a national scale • We live in a world where dozens of laws are proposed each year to regulate women's bodies and control their choices, where states repeatedly try to shut down legal abortion clinics, where it's OK to raise money to ban abortion, but not if you really need to have one, where people scream and throw things at people walking into abortion clinics or on the contrary a country like ours, where it is always shushed, or forced, and done in the back ally for “religious” reasons • Choosing to have an abortion is not something that should have national implications, or some sort of political action. It's a deeply emotional, personal choice that women make based on their own unique circumstances. Women’s rights are not in conflict with their own children’s rights; the appearance of such a conflict is a sign that something is wrong in society. When women have the sexual respect and employment flexibility they need, they will no longer seek as a substitute the bloody injustice of abortion.
  11. 11. PAKISTAN & ABORTION RIGHTS • Applying this phenomenon in Pakistan, abortion is considered illegal, ‘Haram’ and people who have gone through it have been always shamed for it (a) This provides women/girls that want to get it done no form of education as to where to do it, medical complications, safe places to go to are, or what parenthood planning is crucial to avoid the cause. (b) The rape/harassment culture here, the ‘birth us a male heir’ culture here, and the ‘child marriages’ culture in Pakistan, clearly states a proper need for abortion clinics, but it is only termed illegal because of our so called “Islamic laws” (c) It is crucial for our Pakistani society to understand that a woman's body is hers, and so her choices related to is are also her’s, thence “mera jism meri marzi” But this statement is difficult for a Pakistani society to infer because women here for centuries have been oppressed, suppressed, and othered.
  12. 12. PAKISTAN & ABORTION RIGHTS • Pakistan has an annual abortion rate of 50 per 1,000 women, the highest in South Asia and one of the highest in world. • Pakistan has an annual abortion rate of 50 per 1,000 women, according to a 2012 survey, the highest in South Asia and one of the highest in world. (A previous study estimated a rate of 27 per 1000 women in 2002.) • Although Pakistani women are clearly seeking abortions, medical practitioners often refuse to perform them or do so only in secret—in general, both seekers and providers of abortions tend to believe the procedure is against religion or Pakistani law, or both.
  13. 13. A B O R T I O N R I G H T S V s T H E C O N S T I T U T I O N • IN PAKISTAN, UNTIL just over two decades ago, induced abortion was permissible only for the purpose of saving a woman’s life. • The Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), Section 338 of the states: induced abortion is also permissible ‘before the limbs or organs of the baby have been formed’ for the purpose of ‘necessary treatment’. • This stipulation, regarding limbs and organs is based on Islamic law, which states that induced abortion is permitted until the ‘quickening’ of the foetus—up to 20 weeks gestation, according to Pakistani medical practice. Induced abortions that fall outside these conditions may be punished with prison sentences ranging from three to ten years.
  14. 14. FOOD FOR THOUGHT At the end of the day, abortion is an essential service. This needs to be a core topic for public health education, or community medicine, a gynecologist or obstetrician, ONE MUST BE A FEMINIST AND ONE MUST BE PRO- CHOICE. Otherwise, what’s the point?”
  15. 15. THANK YOU

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