• The Feminist Times

Normal: A True Story

Telephoning my house, she said

‘I have a project to do and I could use your help

I have been tasked to deliver a moving speech

On a pressing issue in current society’

‘It must be powerful, I must take a stand

And address that which no one else can

For this is my chance to make them see

To force them to confront reality’

Intrigued, I began to delve into the deep

Into the grey expanse whose eyes we refused to meet

Religion, profession and gender, to name a few

The more I dwelled upon it, the longer the list grew

But as I began to elaborate I sensed a change

Gradually, her conviction was starting to fade

She listened in silence to what I had to say

Then slowly, and carefully backed away

For there was something I had carelessly neglected to foresee

In the end, to her breeding she was compelled to heed


In a society like ours, no matter how bold you may be

There were certain matters of which we must never speak

To these conventions she had to abide

In truth, it was never really hers to decide

She said, ‘Let’s be more subtle, I don’t wish to incite outrage

Why not choose something more normal?

Something like rape?’


- Aradhana Mathews

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