Benazir Mungloo, a 21 year-old Mauritian writer, uses poetry to advocate for women’s rights and to speak up about female empowerment.
In her writing, Miss Mungloo says that she explores themes such as the sexualisation of women, femininity, emotional abuse and mental health among others.
“I start with the root of the problem. My first book focused on emotional abuse as it often leads to physical abuse. I start with something that is often overlooked and I put it into perspective,” she says.
She says that she likes to write about the sexualisation of women to raise awareness on the negative effect that it can have on a girl’s life. She herself has felt sexualised in her life, especially on social media.
“There is a difference between a personal social media profile and a professional one. You can’t ‘slide into my DMs’ on my writing profile to tell me I have a really nice cleavage. It’s just disrespectful. You don’t realise this is my workplace,” Miss Mungloo says.
“It’s the same as if you’re going to the office, you’re really prepared for a presentation there and someone is not focusing on your words or your slides but your boobs.”
Sexualisation in today’s society is still very prominent, especially when it comes to women’s portrayal in the media.
Researchers reviewed over 1,000 Rolling Stone magazine covers published over four decades and found that 11% of men and 44% of women were sexualised on the covers in the 1960’s, while in the early 2000’s 17% of men and 83% of women were sexualised.
This sexualisation not only affects young girls’ opinion on themselves but a research shows that it also affects how they are treated and perceived by others.
Miss Mungloo says that through her poetry she shares her thoughts on this topic, hoping to make a change not only for women but for men also.
“I think men should read my poetry to be aware, to keep an open mind and to reassess what they have been taught is right and wrong,” Miss Mungloo says.
“My first buyer was actually a man! Not a woman! And this book talks about emotional abuse, women’s empowerment and he proudly bought it, proudly took a picture and sent it to me.”
She says that women should feel entitled to voice their opinion and achieve great things, no matter their situation in life.
“If a man is allowed to be a dad and a CEO and not be questioned, why should you question a woman in the same position. Why should you ask her who she had to sleep with to be out there,” she says.
Miss Mungloo was recently featured on an Untwine article as one of the top 50 Instagram poets of April 2018.
Her first book, Scarred and Healed, can be purchased on Amazon.