“The Silenced and the Oppressed” This poem is a representation of oppressed women. When reading this poem, there is an abundance of detail and it captures the attention of the reader. Jordan managed to used imagery and descriptive language to get this powerful message across. Jordan uses diction to emphasize harsh circumstances that women face everyday and animosity towards the little political action against rape. Jordan explains how the law in France states, “if the guy penetrates but does not ejaculate then he did not rape me.” This is an excuse for the rapists that commit this crime and makes women feel helpless because they can not go to the police if a man did not ejaculate. The police will question what the woman was wearing or how she was acting to make it seem like she had it coming. This law leaves the victim susceptible to more abuse from the offender.This is proof that the justice and government system is unjust and corrupt. The poem also shows that racism is prevalent, the text states, “we are the wrong people of the wrong skin on the wrong continent.” The line shows how minorities are uncomfortable in their own skin. You were judged by the color of your skin and it affected your wealth and authority. There are still stereotypical views on appearance shown here: “I should have been lighter skinned and that I should have had straighter hair.” This shows how many believed that certain favored characteristics also translated into wealthy social symbol. Line 46 refers to refugees that travel the world looking for a new lease on life. However when people move to different countries people will have a prejudice about you because of where you came from. Maybe Jordan sees herself as an outsider in the world of Europeans when she talks about having the “wrong skin on the wrong continent.” The pain she portrays in the poem is that similar to the pain felt by people native to their land. This portrayal of pain happens on the poem when she blames herself for the disappointment that she caused society. Jordan talks about how both of her parents wished she was different, so she could have an easier life and not be judged so harshly by society. However the poem ends in an optimistic and unexpected way, with Jordan saying that she will happily defend who she is and this leaves the reader feeling encouraged. The prominent theme that I found in the poem was one of gender inequality. Today statistics show that men get paid more than a woman does, even if they have the same job and are equally educated. Men are seen as the dominant gender in society, whether it is making decisions, roles in a household, and various other things. Women are seen as the submissive gender and many people believe that a woman’s place is at home. The line “I should have been a boy because he wanted one,” shows an important aspect. This quote refers to the belief that having a boy promises financial security. Men are essentially put on a pedestal throughout life, but women have to struggle every step of their professional career. In the poem, the “wrong” elements are repeated and this repetition emphasizes anger because society does not accept these “wrong” characteristics. Jordan shows how she felt judged and unaccepted the text states, “it was my mother pleading plastic surgery for my nose and braces for my teeth.” A mother is supposed to teach a their daughter how to love herself for her. By Jordan using loaded vocabulary it allows the reader to sympathize how she has been treated and creates personal and emotional connection. From reading the poem several times, I get a underlying sense of anger that is expressed toward the people who basically, “set things up like this.” I believe that she is speaking about society itself and how there are racial prejudice and gender inequality. When there are no people abusing power, only then will people have true peace and positivity. The result will be a world with less chaos, less poverty, and less unemployment. The last lines of the poem show a pleading for freedom of the world’s guidelines. These lines show a determined Jordan speak up for not only herself, but for women around the world. She takes a stand for the women who do not have a voice, for the abused and neglected, for the raped, and for the inequality in gender and race. This poem inspires me to stand up for what I want in life and not to let one person or circumstance stop me and Jordan should be praised for speaking out for the silenced and oppressed.