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  • Writer's pictureThe Feminist Times

You haven't known who a woman is

They discuss how prostitution digusts them And not eve teasing in the middle of the road The same girl every day works as maid in different places So that she can put her courage back in her school bag And run away to her mother's laps Because that's what women are supposed to do My classmate said once That's where you belong In homes, in the kitchen When I tried to raise my voice against their uncool casual sexism He laughs why have these girls so much freedom, Freedom that chokes men's chauvinist neck That they run out of breath After having red stains on skirt She couldn't be the most attractive girl anymore Rather the filthy creature who had no shame Girls giggling why these girls don't stay at home And next time you tell period blood disgust me Let me tell you this is the purest of all The one that fetched you life When the man you accused of masturbating everyday In the precincts of college streets My mother said Beta, you should walk straight to the college and college to home Ignore the voices and blind yourself and run run and run until you find place to breathe Until you fall down and kneel and cry like you saw monster in human form You listen your colleagues whispering Don't mess with her she's a feminist You won't be beared Man bashing and what not She'll talk about fundamental rights because you are afraid of it To see her on the same ladder And abuse her whore Before you ask that can I drop you it's not safe out there You'll smirk to your colleagues at her visible cleavage And not your pointless bigotry that you want to carry The uncles in my house talk about how government is misleading them While having sip of vodka And asking women of their houses to shut their voices You can't see we are having important discussion Because they can't bear women of their houses standing beside them Papa tells my brother to leave me to my tution Who bodyshames Riya in her neighbour I tell papa I can go by my own He says, we trust you but not these people And then he is blinded toward the scars of my mother who had her dreams shattered with an empty void I remember ma left her work because papa said who will look after kids They will be spoiled And she became the 24×7 care centre of our home Ocassionally opening the "sandook" to touch those "ghunghroos" And then lock it intentionally Blinding her eyes to the injustice Because my grandmother said women are born to serve Women are born with this "nasseb" And I yell at her that I'll make my own "naseeb" And then the man whom I love whom I meet Takes me on dates And when he knows I'm a feminist Says you might be angry and irrational But doesn't let me split the bill And bash that i spend so much on that girl And gets insecure when I meet my other male friends And tells me how my purity lies in my virginity And tell me you damn feminist you will die alone This time anyone who shame me for being unapologetically me I'll not go and write an angry poem And bring the burning rage in my eyes Eyeballs telling we are supposed to be here since always Without apologising To breathe. To resist. To oppose. To break shackles. To kill your ignorance. To shed all the apologies from the skin And show you how a woman is made To not melt away with your filthy stares To look into your eyes Until your eyelids drop all the misogyny As my voice will shriek my lungs out When you'll open your mouth you'll spill patriarchy and rape threats And the burning red in me will dissolve it with my tongue and will scream not silenced anyone And you will carry the guilt that you have been feeding us And we will show who a woman is with a tigress' skin and howling voice Her epthilleal tissues is filled with rage that your chest gets blistered with And I'll bawl you haven't seen who a woman is And when you'll make a rape joke again And tell me don't be offended These women don't even know how to take a joke I'll howl so intense that the inside of your knees will hurt You haven't known who a woman is.

- Yamini Parashar

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