We’re leading up to the grand tamasha called Women’s Day where you can expect to see the world pat itself on the back for giving half its population one day. You’ll also find a lot of men applauding each other for being so considerate of women. And congratulating one another on what good men they are for allowing women a special day. And finally, refraining from PMS jokes for that one day. Well done, men.
Here is a piece that I performed this Monday. Before I went up on stage, I was announced as
‘That poet who the women will love and the men better beware because the poetry is going to slap them’.
Once I finished, I was asked why I disliked men so much. Then a young man I barely knew parked himself next to me and in the semi-darkness during the subsequent performances, proceeded to harass me on my social adjustment issues, my hatred of men and my problematic past. Of note, said young man is also a poet who is infrequent on the scene. He also has a bad stammer and earlier in the evening, I had applauded his performance because I know how much courage it takes to go up on stage. He did not however, feel equally kindly towards me. He also felt perfectly able to attack me in a place where I’m a regular and when I was surrounded by friends. This is not the first time men have behaved in such a manner on the performance/poetry scene and every single time I protested, I’ve been told that I was taking things too seriously or that ‘he’s just young’.
Here’s the piece I performed. Dare I point out that it doesn’t mention men anywhere?
After all, feminism is only feminism when a man speaks about it. A male feminist is a hero and a female feminist is nothing more than an angry, man-hating bitch. Thank you for putting me in my place, fellow poets.
It looks like the stage does not permit me to speak my mind so let me hide on my blog for as long as it takes for the trolls to find me. Tonight a lot of you stay up celebrating a god whose legacy includes blurring gender roles, assimilating the masculine and the feminine and indeed, expressing an open need of his equal half – his female partner and side. That’s it. Think about it. You can wish me on 8th March on the one day in the year I don’t have to apologise for not being male and then congratulate yourselves for doing so. Thank you.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —— — —— —
It was just another day. Of course it was….was I expecting a red carpet and garlands? Yes, I know every day should be a celebration like Sushmita Sen says. A day like this is only symbolic. But well, what wrong with symbols? Symbols are reminders. And I remembered yesterday that the world is changing. Some women somewhere demanded a vote and years later they got it. Somewhere someone decided that education should be made available to everyone, irrespective of gender. We got that too. I am living the benefits of their struggles. I don’t claim to be driving the cause today. But by making use of the voice that I have today, maybe by making somebody think, it just is possible, I have helped move something. Didn’t someone say…”If one robin should be saved from dying, my life would not have been in vain”. Ah, well big thoughts. Suffice to say I’m so grateful, so very thankful to be alive in the world as it is today, where I can demand and reasonably expect that my voice will be heard.
On another note, Blank Noise Project has been a sucess. The organizers inform us that participants are flooding in. My mailbox has been flooded for the past two days with other participants sending in their links and their thoughts on this. I’ve never participated in anything like this, in the blogsphere or the real world…it was a thrilling experience. I’m still reading the posts that have been put up. Here’s my favorite one so far…because it goes beyond talking about the problem and offers some suggestions.
I put up my posts on the weekend since I knew it was going to be a killer week. Yesterday was so busy I almost forgot what day it was. Morning began with an unscheduled yoga class where my instructor made me laugh. Apparantly her 17-year old son has joined a gym, much to the astonishment of the instructor who knows that his mother is a proficient yoga teacher. According to the young man “I don’t like to sit in one place and say ‘Breathe in-breathe out!!” Ah well, kids today! Later during the day, his mother gets a call and Mr.Dude coolly announces that he is “in the hospital and the doctor is going to start surgery”. Turned out to be a painful corn on the foot which Dude didn’t bother informing family about. Independence is good. And it made me smile.
Only in the train when my cell flashed a missed call from my best friend did I realise it was Women’s day. Ah…what would I do without my lady Friday, my island of rest, my best friend? I don’t tell her how much she means to me but she understands. Just like I understand what she’s telling me from one missed call alert.
The best moment in my day came from the first lady in my life. A message said “Happy women’s day to the young lady who elevated me to motherhood:-)” Ma, anyplace you are, feels like home.
Just another day. But a very nice one.