When You Are A Girl

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Image Courtesy: pixhome.blogspot.in

When you are a girl, they teach you many things

but most importantly

they teach you to hate your own body.

They tell you to slouch when walking past a group of boys.

They teach you to hide the small mounds growing on your body.

They tell you not to laugh loudly or talk too chirpily.

They tell you not to walk too fast

For ‘they’ will sense fear

And they also tell you not to walk too slowly

Lest you linger too long

For ‘them’ to sense your fear.

They teach you to be invisible,

A magic trick, a secret disclosed only to girls.

They teach you not to be too attractive

And they also teach you to not be too ugly.

When you are a girl they teach you many things,

but they forget to teach you to love yourself.

A woman’s job, they say, is loving her family.

Not others, not herself but the ones who are her family.

So what if the man you called Uncle fucked you,

Forget it and love him and love us.

But don’t love the neighbor’s boy

Because when you are a girl, they teach you many things

But most important of all they teach you about honor.

And how honor is your responsibility

And how despite being the damsel in distress

It’s your and your only for safekeeping.

When you are a girl, they teach you many things

But they never teach you that you can be loved too.

 

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5 comments

    • This poem is about what you get to hear and see when you are growing up as a girl. It’s not so simple as just choosing to set oneself free. It’s more about the fact that girls are made to internalize that they are inferior to boys. That internalization doesn’t go easily.

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      • I disagree! Women don’t choose to “comfortably take a back seat”. The centuries of patriarchal upbringing and inherent misogyny in society has made generations of women believe that they are in fact inferior. The history of suppression has made them believe that taking a backseat is what they are supposed to do. You don’t expect women to counter the effects of centuries of patriarchal oppression in just a few decades.

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