Whitlam Institute

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

What Matters 2019 Shortlist

Stars in the Ocean

Stars in the Ocean

Vanshita Udasi

Year 10

“Darling. I'm sorry. But we are stars in the ocean. We burn and we writhe and then we die. We are tragedies.”

Those are not your words. Which man put those words in your mouth mother. We are stars. Stars die and become black holes. They are tragedies turned abominations that will devour this world whole. But we are not dead yet.

All the oceans on this Earth could not kill a star mother and there are billions of us on the ground. You taught yourself to swim, better than the sharks in these waters. I remember when you let them pull you down so I could rise up and find my place in the sky. I have learnt from you. And now I am bigger, mother, I am stronger. Give me your hand I will pull you from the depths. Like you once taught me, I will teach you how to swim again. Mother the sky is dull without you and the stars are calling your name. Let the hatred seep through the sharks as you rise up to claim your rightful place.

Girl. Woman. Attention seeker. Asking for it. Inferior. Weak. Slut. Whore. Bitch. The labels they slap on our faces after they wish upon us to fulfil their shameful desires as we fall. But we shall no longer detach ourselves from the sky.

Mother do not fear for me. They can't hurt me. I do not bleed for my veins are flowing with stories you used to tell me of warrior girls trying to change the world. And when they cut me, I am covered with courage, kindness and empathy.

Mother do not pity the women who came before us they have fallen so we can stand, they have suffered so we can speak. Their sacrifices are more powerful than a man's hands. Hands that disrespect the very being that create them. 

Do not worry. We are not leaving them behind. There is a place awaiting our fathers and our brothers and some day they will make their way to the sky, but mother we cannot keep drowning to remind them they are not sharks, but stars who could burn so much more bright. When they watch us from bellow, unveiling the darkness of the night, they will drop their prejudice and stand among us in the heavens. Mother the sky would have never looked so fine.

These are the words of your creation. Mother the ocean has never been capable of stealing your fire, it burns within me. You gave me your spark and it's grown into an inferno. I will not stop it now. Either the ocean splits apart releasing the stars to the sky, or I will burn it dry. I know you are afraid I will come too close and the ocean will evaporate my flames. It must be done, for the women submerged in an ocean of male superiority matter. You matter mother.