A Letter to the Men

Rashmi Trivedi

I am a woman.

Do not put me on a pedestal.

I am a woman, your equal.

 

Do not call me Kali, do not call me Durga.

These are the masks I had to don,

for the demons I had to slay.

 

Do not call me Saraswati, do not call me Lakshmi.

Just an ordinary woman,

I want to stay.

 

History has been a witness,

you called me Saraswati,

you coerced me into taking ‘wise’ decisions,

like Sati.

Because you it suited,

you called me Lakshmi,

and deprived me of my inheritance,

me you looted.

 

Things have not changed much.

 

Today you stalk me, molest me and rape me,

in streets and in my home.

Demons today are everywhere,

free they are to roam.

 

When to defend myself,

I strike back,

you call me Durga or Kali.

Sorry, I don’t want any such tag.

 

Let me be a woman,

just a woman.

 

A woman not confined,

a woman with a mind,

a woman with a choice,

a woman with a voice,

a woman with a say.

A woman who can stay safe,

in streets and homes.

A woman who can go where she wants,

without listening to ‘God knows where she roams’.

 

A woman who can wear what she wants,

a skirt or a crop top, should not get her taunts.

 

A woman who can go out without a fright,

at any time of day or night.

 

A woman who is not judged,

by the length of her skirt or a lipstick that’s smudged.

A woman who is not called a slut,

because her blouse has a deep cut.

 

 

A woman who can say – No.

And for saying ‘no’,

acid on her face you wouldn’t throw.

 

A woman who you wouldn’t cast aside,

just by saying that word, thrice.

 

A woman with fire,

a woman with desire,

a woman with dreams,

a woman sans screams.

 

A woman who will lead,

a woman who will not bleed,

blood from her eyes,

for being discriminated again,

at home and at work,

however much she tries.

 

A woman who will not have to break her head,

against that glass ceiling.

A woman who is not always defensive,

always appealing.

 

Let me be that woman.

Just a woman.

 

Do not put me on a pedestal.

I am a woman, your equal.

 

rashmi imageAuthor Bio

Rashmi Trivedi works in a leading public sector undertaking. She is the author of Amazon bestseller ‘Woman, everything will be fine’ and a book of poems ‘Handful of Sunshine Pocketful of Rain’. She is passionate about writing and focuses a lot on the woman of today. She blogs at   http://straightfromtheheartofanindianwoman.blogspot.com/2017/06/if-you-are-gone.html

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