How To: Woman

"For once I know that I come in too many flavours for one fucking spoon." Aparupa Chakravarty. ©2016
(Cover credits: 'Garden of Melancholia' by Christian Schloe)


1. How To: Woman

From the second we are brought out of our pink blankets into the world,

We are taught how to sit, how to talk, how to not be like a man.

They treat us like porcelain dolls,

Beautiful on the outside and easy to smash down,

It’s funny how our worth is governed by the lace in our lingerie and our ability to cook.

Statistics show one in three women will get sexually abused at least once in their lifetime.

I am one of three sisters

And although I can say how much I don’t care about stupid statistics,

I will still hide behind my armour of pepper sprays.

When they graze our skin with their dirty fingers, that are mistook for simple mistakes,

They don’t use the term ‘violated’, instead,

They say that our bodies are like temples;

Temples in which our men find their gods,

Bodies in which,

Our men find their salvation.

They have made our bodies into non-living walls of cement,

Not paying heed to the throbbing hearts inside them.

They treat us like gutted monuments,

Like destroyed buildings,

Like empty museums

Which our men are supposed to fill in,

To paint them with colours,

Breathe life into them.

I don’t need you to breathe life into me

I don’t need you to spit down anything you want down my throat,

Because sometimes I find myself

Not being able to see any difference between your Adam’s apple

And your fist.

Every time I step out,

My dignity is questioned.

The length of my skirt somehow suddenly turns into food for hungry eyes,

He grabs me from behind,

His hands, a necklace too tight for my neck

And I cannot sleep anymore

Without waking up from sweaty nightmares and phantom bodies sticking onto me;

I scream help

But there is no one listening as my silent scream is muffled by the

Loud voices which don’t let a girl be a girl,

Or a human.

Why is it that being a girl means ‘weak’ and being a boy means ‘excuse’?

I fear that if my cries are too loud it won’t be beautiful anymore

Or if I speak up against the wrong, against the odds, I won’t be pretty anymore,

Sometimes, I just want to be liked than to be accepted.

Being lady-like demands silence,

So, is my silence an act of non-violence too?

We are taught to stay by the side of our men,

Cater to them, their needs, their whims and wishes.

When we are being told to stay careful and are being taught to protect ourselves,

They tell our brothers to go out and play.

I hate the sound of the word ‘mine’,

It sounds so defensive,

Like I belong beneath the ribcage of some man,

Trapped because of his will,

No, I don’t belong with you,

Or next to you,

I don’t belong somewhere I am not free and you are.

They accuse me of practicing misandry every now and then.

“Why are you trying to take over the world?” They ask.

No, I’m just trying to see it,

Trying to know if it’s there for me, for someone, for anyone at all.

My dad told me that men and women are the same in today’s time and sexism doesn’t exist anymore,

Then he told me to always carry pepper spray with me in the same breath.

I hope you know that you don’t belong in the arms of a man

And your worth is so much more than your weight, your grades, your height.

You are not a number,

You are not just another girl,

You are not just anything.

You and I, dear girls, were born of the stars,

So stop settling for the dust they leave behind.

We are more than what our parents, our brothers deem us to be.

We are so much more than our waistline,

Our existence screams worth

And we’re the beautiful thoughts that we think, the daring dreams we dream,

But the world somehow always forgets that.

I don’t belong next to someone,

I don’t belong in pockets, in wrist watches, half-naked on posters so that boys can fantasize about me.

The lit butt of your cigarette matches the fire in my soul,

And for once I have chosen to not be afraid.

For once I’ve chosen to not let the guilt of never speaking out whisper profanities in my ears.

For once I know that I come in too many flavours for one fucking spoon.

For once I know where I belong,

And it is here.

It will always be here so never bother telling me otherwise.





Wow, I'm posting something here after more than a year. Does anyone remember me? xD

Anyways, this is my slam poem and I hope you like it. :)


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