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poem: Call me FemiNazi

Unclothe me with your eyes,
Hungry hands and mind,
Or your words
that spell like fear
of your sex’s weakness.
I am not ashamed
I am but a woman.

Hear my story,
Turn a deaf ear, shy away
Walk past, plugging me out,
Cry or console my loss,
Chide me, ask me to shut up.
Ignore me.
I still shriek of injustice
I am but a woman.

Call me the goddess, your alter ego,
The prostitute or the slut,
the feminazi,
The woman you can only
dream of bedding, or
The whore you fucked
last night,
Or your mother
I am multiple orgasms
I am but a woman.

Shred my ego to pieces,
revel in chivalry
Or slap me down
grovelling in the gravel
Mould me to your choice
I will be the lady
and the bitch
I am everything.
I am but a woman

Ban my blood and
own my womb
Taboo my body
for three whole days
Seed it with lust the next
I choose to be childless, to bleed freely
I am but a woman.

Don’t love my love handles,
put me down with my weight
My full grown body
an eyesore.
Try me into body issues
I will not fit in
I am but a woman

Say I am too modern,
Outrageous, or too traditional
to suit your tastes
Judge me with the size of my bindhi
Or the way I drape my
Sari just below
my navel, or the swiftness
with which I cover my head
when seen,
Or my six inch heel.
I am the permanent outcast
I am but a woman.

Thrust upon me
masks of masculinity
Penis-obsessed,
your hard rock ego boosts with
each sloppy kiss-
That testosterone high
Fails to stir me enough
I prefer women
I am but a woman.


Shivapriya first read this poem at the Queer and Ally Arts Festival on May 8, 2016, in Chennai. It was subsequently published in FeminismInIndia.

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