Don’t Wish Me ‘Happy Women’s Day’

8 Mar

Stop.
Just don’t.
I see your mouth beginning to form the words, readying to trot out utter garbage.
Halt!
Don’t do it.
Tell me to celebrate being a woman on a measly day eked out for my ilk and I’ll ask you why. How do I make joyful noises about being female in a world where my gender is relentlessly at the receiving end of systemic hatred? When our heads are constantly dunked and held under water, only to be permitted half a breath before being choked again, but look, you did get that teeny window to inhale! To which you’ll look exasperated and say “But nobody is doing it to you!” And I will begin to enumerate:
1. The number of times my body was touched without my permission, how the semen stain on my school skirt remains as dark as ever, how pain feels as a 14-year-old when there’s a thrust, a gasp, and then he flees the overflowing bus.
2. The number of times my daylight hours and nighttime hours and spaces to just be were policed: by those who birthed me, by a system meant to educate, no no, you are a girl, bloomer check! We’re going to lift your skirt to ensure your modesty lives in granny knickers.
3. The number of times I have heard “nobody wants a girl who…”, “nobody marries a woman who….”, 5 kilos less and you’d be perfect, one cup size larger, you can wear any color, lucky-lucky, your hands are so soft, your boyfriend will love them, don’t ever cut your hair or I’ll be sad.
4. The number of times “good” girls don’t sit this way, don’t wear shorts outside PE class, because the men, oh the men, the men! All males, absolute strangers included, are given shares to my anatomy, only I’m not invited to the feast.
“Excellent mother”
“Obedient daughter”
“Ideal daughter-in-law”
Until I want to stitch your mouth shut without anesthesia and scream TROPES!!!
TROPES, TROPES, TROPES!
You’ve drowned in your paltry puddle and think you’re in St. Tropez, every utterance further plasters you to your pigeon poop ridden cubby, how does it feel inside that cage you’ve built, do the bars come out at night to play?
Rapes and moral policing. “Just jokes” and unoffered opportunities. Wage gaps and a permanent seat to butt and breasts on the buffet, let’s not serve brain today, rather pointless wouldn’t you say?
Not a chance in hell at life, and if lucky, then an education is all too much good fortune.
I’m a ‘happy California mum’, I was told in summary, a catch-up call that ended in a pert label, even as my vocal chords shut down in outrage.
No women are free until all women are free, I scream at you in my fantasy. While you suck on patriarchy like a lozenge and I pause to watch you choke. While you make plans to shop sales and celebrate having internal plumbing and paint your nails as the platitudes dry.
Happy Women’s Day, you say, expecting a smile in return. I smile, as I smile for many senseless things and inane people, and quietly wish you sight. And maybe someday, if it happens to be in stock that season, even a modest serving of sense.

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9 Responses to “Don’t Wish Me ‘Happy Women’s Day’”

  1. chroniclesofdee March 8, 2016 at 6:44 am #

    AMEN.

  2. Aunty G March 8, 2016 at 8:49 am #

    Shall respond when i’m sober
    Right now two glasses of beer
    Too much to take in
    Done that — there been
    Won’t wish you — don’t you fear!

  3. Aunty G March 8, 2016 at 9:09 am #

    Blah, blah, blah is what i feel
    Come on, Folks, just get real
    Equality is not even
    On the horizon
    Nonetheless, am content, Life’s dealt me a good deal!

  4. Aunty G March 8, 2016 at 9:16 am #

    Still under the influence
    So don’t take cognizance
    But then again
    Dutch courage’s when
    One spews sense out of nonsense!

  5. Lakshmi Andra March 8, 2016 at 11:39 am #

    I’ve been a long time follower. A decade I think. Came through to you through The Mad Momma and now again, reading this for the umpteenth time. Nodding my head. Just wanted to reach out and say thank you for your words. You have no idea how much they uplift my soul.

  6. Mina March 8, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

    The war isn’t over yet.. But…. And I strongly feel this important but… It is absolutely vital for the earth to pause and to celebrate, to honour, to remember and to teach our daughters and our sons about the victories in the battles we have won. The challenges we have surpassed.. The monumental ones by remarkable women across the globe we read about in books and newspapers and the humble sacrifices and courage and strength of our mothers and grandmothers and friends closer to home.

    I am not in the slightest wishing to diminish the anger you feel in your comment. It is needed in the youth to forge ahead towards real equality we deserve. But from another perspective I want to celebrate women as only women know how:)

  7. M.... March 10, 2016 at 2:27 am #

    Ditto!

    Till the time we feel the need to celebrate the cause of being a woman, I do not see a cause to celebrate

  8. priya March 23, 2016 at 9:52 am #

    Touching… thank you for the words.

  9. Orange Jammies December 31, 2016 at 7:20 pm #

    Apologies from the bottom of my heart for the impossibly tardy response, ladies!
    chroniclesofdee: 🙂

    Aunty G: Three lim’ricks, two beers
    Your talent one fears
    What would befall
    If you had them all
    An avalanche and endless cheers!

    Lakshmi Andra: Thank you for your generosity of words! And apologies for my terrible manners, I needed to acknowledge these comments much, much sooner.

    Mina & M….: I think the poet Sharanya Manivannan put it beautifully when she said there’s a difference between a celebration and an observance. As long as we see that, it’s all good. 🙂

    priya: Thanks!

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