The first boy who held my hand told me boys didn’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 quiver, ‘Ugh, please, fast.’
Yet, I am silenced. For all we boil down to is sexual interaction. Not just me, my mother, sisters, 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 highs. Risking not my virginity, but my life. My hymen seems to be sacred, be sacred, told to keep it till I’m a wife. If not, I’m 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 and Guddu dealt with it real 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’m sorry dad, for I was catcalled in my uniform at the age of nine. This isn’t an all men thing I know. Trust me, I do. But the men I can trust are only a few. At the age of twelve, 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’m trying to say here tonight is, I’m 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. Make it slightly easier for each and every girl. Thank you. For I see men in this room. Reaching out to help, realizing the bane of the womb. Being saved by the sane of a few. We’re all collectively reaching out for you. Thank you.