19/10/2016 08:01 BST | Updated 18/10/2017 06:12 BST

My Female Body

My body is MY body, but it is not me.

I hope I don't alarm you, or take you by surprise,

I hope to be clear in my message when I look you in the eye

And tell you my body is my body,

Yes you heard me correctly,

My body is MY body

But it is not me.

MY body, as in, belonging to me.

MY decisions, MY rights and I want it to be free

But how can it be when you stare at it like that?

When you gaze too long from beneath the peak of your hat?

When you touch it without permission

Or forcefully grab and kiss it expecting submission?

I want it to be free...

MY body is MY body, but it is not me.

My body belongs to me,

But how can that ever truly be

When I'm judged on my appearance, my figure, the things you see?

And told success comes only with beauty and youth, anything else just isn't worthy

Of respect, of progression,

And even that is another manipulation, to stop us ever becoming equal

By demanding ideals which are unachievable?

Oh to be equal,

Truly equal...

My body is my body, but it is not me.

To be equal, to be free

What does it mean to you and me?

It means taking the time to consider that I'm a person, beyond the image that you see.

My body, my female body, I agree is a wondrous thing.

It has strength and resilience, power and presence,

Can grow a human life, it's awe-inspiring!

It is intelligent, unique...

Do not be misled to believe that I am weak,

Or bleak,

Please don't think me a freak,

for breastfeeding in public or not bothering with make up,

For not wanting to have your hands on me

Or for asking you to stop.

My body is just the casing, the oyster for the pearl...

Containing something far more special if you'd only take the time to learn

Just a little bit about me, my name is a good place to start.

Before you decide to objectify me and use me, to abuse and hurt me,

remind yourself that I'm a human too, I might take it to heart.

I have thoughts, opinions, ideas to rival your own.

I'm keen to work alongside you, to develop and grow...

We could make a great team if you wouldn't feel so threatened,

To silence me because I'm female damages us both, with trust and optimism dampened.

It puts our society in danger,

Passing on this behaviour

To the next generation of girls and boys

Who learn that they are different and that "boys will be boys"

And that girls are responsible for their own safety,

That it's their fault if they attract the wrong attention, daily.

It's your job to change it, to lead by example...

I ask that you consider this next time you're 'on the pull'

Or in the office, or walking to work, at the gym or out for dinner,

That sexism and sexual harassment in any form is not ok, there will never be a winner...

My body is MY body, but it is not me.

Her body is HER body, but it is not she.

Our bodies are OUR bodies but they are not who we

Are, what we do, what we are capable of, what we can become...

You and I are the same, we are human, we are one.

My body is my body but it is not me,

My body is my body and I want it to be free.