Posted in Poetry by Karthick RM on December 18, 2009

You call yourself feminist,
you talk big things, big names,
in accented English,
Butler, Horney,
and some guy called Foucault
whose name seems to be a fashion
in pubs, clubs and all your hubs,
where you people ‘chill’.
We know a little,
we cannot talk ‘big’ things,
because Phule, Periyar, Ambedkar
are not big enough to you,
neither are Vaanathi or Anuradha,
nor is the person from China
who said women hold up half the sky.
They are, as you say, “crude”.

You call yourself feminist,
you talk of equality,
and you oppose reservations
and demonstrate in the streets,
side by side, shoulder to shoulder
with men from your caste.
“Merit”, you say.
What ‘merit’ could we have
after being oppressed
by the very same men of your caste
for centuries altogether?
But then, as you say, “quality matters”.

You call yourself feminist,
you light candles for Jessica,
take out processions for Aarushi,
send pink chaddis to Ram Sene,
when they attacked your pubs,
Did you send a pink hanky
to your Army men
who rape us with AFSPA?
Did you light even a matchstick
for Shopian, Kandhamal or Khairlanji?
Did you bother to google
about Jaffna, Amparai, Vavuniya?
But then, we are “different women”.

You call yourself feminist,
you have boyfriends in the army,
which we know is a patriarchal body,
we know – we the women
of Kashmir, Manipur, Nagalim,
because the masculinity of your ‘heroes’
is the biggest instrument of terror we face.
But you call us “terrorist problem”.

You call yourself feminist,
your battlefields are LSR, Hindu, Xaviers,
and that island called JNU,
where you wage your “heroic struggles”
for “gender justice”, you claim.
You shout “Chauvinist!”
if some man just leers at you,
and people listen.
But what about us, the unknown faces?
Your police, your CRPF,
your Cobra, your greyhounds,
all the defenders of your interests,
do a lot more with us besides leering.
Our zones are not protected campuses
like yours – but we still fight
for our land, water and forest
in Lalgarh, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh
But our struggles are not as ‘heroic’ as yours
We are, as you say, “anti-nationals”.

You call yourself feminist,
you think you are liberated
by cigarette, ganja and vodka,
shorts and t-shirts,
pepe and reebok,
but our struggle for human dignity
which your society and state have denied us,
you call “violent” and “irrational”.

You call yourself feminist,
Well, we are feminists too,
only that our colours differ,
for your feminism is pink.
The colour of your 1000 rupee lipstick,
of your rosy skin,
conditioned by soaps and creams
that your richness can buy
safe from heat and cold,
rain and storm.
Safe from police lathis,
their boots or bullets.

The colour of our feminism
is the colour of agony,
when we were violated
when our loved ones were killed
It is the colour of rage,
at the forces of oppression
that seek to crush our voices, our dreams.
It is the colour of vengeance,
which we will wreak on inhumanity
– yours included.
It is the colour of liberation,
which we will achieve
through struggle and sacrifice.
It is the colour of our blood,
which we will shed,
for a better future
for mankind – and womankind.

For our feminism is red.

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2 Responses

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  1. vanessa said, on August 1, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    the poem ends on the right nore, but i have some problems with the way it begins… i’ll email you about em? see you kid. and remember the things i said…stay strong, stay true 🙂

    • Karthik RM said, on August 2, 2010 at 11:07 pm

      Thank you. Awaiting your comments. 🙂

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