"Dear girls" - The sensational performance translated into English

The girls, aged 14 and 15 wowed Iceland with a ...

The girls, aged 14 and 15 wowed Iceland with a powerful piece of feminist poetry which they composed themselves. Photo: Anton Bjarni Alfreðsson

The teenage girls who won the Skrekkur contest this week have made waves both in Iceland and internationally with their performance, seen HERE on Iceland Monitor. 

"We weren't really in this to win, we just wanted to get into the television finals so that people out there would hear our message. Winning was a bonus though," they said to Mbl.is following their win. "When we got on stage we said to each other, let's make them hear us!"

The video is now available with an English translation on YouTube, translated by one of the three authors, Una Torfadóttir. 

Dear girls. (english version)

I was ten years old when i was first called a whore
I didn’t understand it then, now i do.

I got in the way, I took control,
I crossed the line and tried to break the box
but i was little and I was a girl.

Dear girls, mind your step
Don’t take away the space
reserved for boys.
Because if you have a penis
you get an extra square meter.
Don’t demand to be respected,
you deserve less.

Dress the way I want you to
keep to your corner
put on more make-up,
put on less make-up
put yourself down.

Dress code for the youth club:
Number one: If a dress or skirt doesn’t cover the knee
one must wear colored tights or leggings

Because the legs of 15 year old girls give the wrong idea

Number two:
Be careful not to wear too low cut shirts or dresses

Because the skin of 15 year old girls gives the wrong idea.

Get upset, get upset, get upset
You’re surrounded by injustice,
you really should be screaming.

Calm down, don’t be so loud.
You must be on your period.
Careful! You’ll scare the boys away
You’re talking way too much.

Stop it, you know better.
“You’re not always right, you know”
Be polite, don’t embarrass yourself,
don’t make me feel awkward,
don’t you fucking swear.

Be sensible, work hard,
pick up the pieces others leave behind.
Leave yourself behind.
Forget what you’re worth
Disappear.

Be pretty, be provocative
but don’t dare to cross the line.
I’ve told you what happens
You’ve heard it a million times.

And for God’s sake,
please don’t send him ‘pictures’
Because you, your breasts, your body,
your whole entire being.
Is dirty and filthy, forbidden.
Not for you to share with others
and not for you to keep.

Dear patriarchy
When you tell me to
be calm,
to shut my mouth and listen
All you do is encourage me
to shout at the top of my lungs
You can not stop the change you know is coming.
You don’t know the struggle,
you are not a woman.

You look up to the stage
and don’t see any boys.
And some of you ask
where’s the equality in this?
But we’d like to know
where’s the equality in everything?

Where are women to be found at all?
You’ll find them here
standing on the stage right now
but some have always needed to look around for boys.

We’ve fought for so long
for things now taken for granted
that the fact that we’re still fighting
tends to be taken for granted.

But we ask of you girls
to always keep going
to not forget the signs held up high in protest
to never forget the women who shouted in the darkness
and least of all the girls who were loud and rude and bitches.

Girls demand attention
don’t you try to ignore us.
Girls demand opportunities
don’t you try to restrain us.
Girls demand respect
don’t you try to stop us.

We all demand equality
nothing’s gonna stop us!

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