A Brown Girl’s Guide to Gender

The first boy who held my hand

told me boys don’t want to hear about vaginas bleeding

younger me could smell the misogyny

vaginas only meant to be fucked

breasts only meant to be sucked

mouths only meant to blow

It’s true, I know

My waist meant to be compared to an hourglass

My voice only meant to quiver, “Ugh, please, fast”

Yet, I am silenced

For all we boil down, is to sexual interaction

Not just me, my mother, sister, friends,

all quicken their pace post 8:30 in the evening

My mom telling me to wear skirts out less often

Nirbhaya and more left forgotten

We don’t want to be another of India’s daughters, do we?

So I wear my jeans long and wear my tops high

Don’t show my cleavage or a hint of my thighs

Don’t want to be mistaken for wanting it

Cause if I wear less, I am more than just flaunting it, I’m risking it

Risking not my virginity but my life

My hymen seems to be sacred, told to keep it till I am a wife

If not, I am a whore, a slut, a skank and more

Not as pure as I was before

15-year-old Laxmi didn’t like 32-year-old Guddu back

and Guddu dealt with it really maturely,

he made her the victim of an acid attack

Laxmi could be your sister, your girlfriend, your cousin

We’re girls, women, human not a burden.

I ask my male friend to drop me home because his privilege will protect mine

I am sorry dad I was catcalled in my uniform at the age of 9

This isn’t all men thing I know. Trust me, I do.

But the men I can trust are only a few.

At the age of 12, my bra straps were sexualised

At the same time, we don’t get damn sexual rights

My aunt raped by her husband, but marital rape is fine

Pucker up, it’s a mad design, get in line.

So what I am trying to say here tonight is, 

I am sorry I was brought up in a family where my brother

taught me wrong from right

Where my mother believes in our generation to better the world

and make it slightly easier for each and every girl.

Thank you

For I see men in this room

Reaching out for help, realising the bane of the womb

Being saved by the sane of a few

We are all collectively reaching out for you.

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