Monthly Archives: March 2013

Why do we do them favors?

Published by: Olivia

Many incarcerated women and girls are behind bars for doing favors for gang members (pick up extortion Money, move weapons, sell drugs, assist in kidnappings, etc.).  These women put themselves at serious risk for their partners and the guys from their barrio, and afterwards many feel disillusioned and abandoned as they pay time for these crimes (alone).  Many times, when a woman goes to jail, her boyfriend leaves her for another.  Nevertheless, women seldom question their reason for doing favors for the homeboys.  Yesterday, I asked a girl why she did, and the following poem is a result of that conversation.

Why do we do them favors?

Youth, 18-years-old

I did it
I have thought and thought
And never come to a conclusion
Most people do it for money
Some do it because they are afraid
Maybe I did it to be liked
To take care of them
I came to care about these dummies
But I never thought I would pay
These guys can’t do what a civilian can
There’s no way a homeboy is going to move a missile
He looks too “bad”
But a woman can put on her skirt, her heels
In her purse she can carry weed or guns
And a male cop cannot pat her down
They use women
In that sense, women are dumb
A woman says “yes” to everything
I still don’t understand why
But here I am, thinking


To Be a Woman

Published by: Olivia

In honor of International Women’s Day, we share this poem written by a young incarcerated girl about what it means for her to be a woman.  Today, we wish to remember in a special way all the strong women and young women behind bars who struggle to find peace and forgiveness.

To Be a Woman

“The Lazy One”

Being a woman doesn’t mean you can mistreat us

Being a woman doesn’t mean you can treat us as choleras*

Being a owman doesn’t mean that we are only worth anything in bed

Being a woman does not require beauty products

Because inside each one of us exists a woman who is worth something.

We don’t stop being women just because we prostitute ourselves

We don’t stop being women just because we sleep with a person of the same sex

We as women need love, affection, understanding

Someone who loves us and who shows it with deeds, not words.

No man would exist

If it weren’t for a woman

We only have one mother

Any dog could be a dad

I am proud to be a woman.

*cholera: Salvadoran slang, in this case referring to a woman used to do “dirty work” at another person’s beckoning