‘Don’t You Know, Bra Straps Are Meant To Be Hidden’

Posted by Bhumika singh in #BHL
October 1, 2017

Self-Published

Editor's note: This post is a part of #BHL, a campaign by BBC Media Action and Youth Ki Awaaz to redefine and own the label of what a 'bigda hua ladka or ladki' really is. If you believe in making your own choices and smashing this stereotype, share your story.

Don’t laugh too hard
Don’t talk about politics,
Don’t drink,
How can you smoke,
How can you roar,
Your voice should be minimal,
Don’t wear shorts,
Don’t put on tights,
Don’t roam around with your hair untied,
Don’t put on weight,
Don’t you know bra strips are meant to be hidden,
Cover it, i can see your cleavage,
How can you play with boys,
Girls don’t abuse,
Don’t drive,
Don’t build muscles.
Because all of that and the rest is un-womenly.

You can’t control your wife
Oh stop crying.
How can you gossip so much
How can you not control your sister or daughter or wife or mother, have you worn bangles instead of them?
Because all of that is so effeminate

Well, i give you birth. I feed you by my breasts. I bring you up. I give you pleasure. I make a home in which you live. I make a life from your semen. I give birth to the child who is then predominantly known by your name. I feed them by my breasts. I cook them what they like. I make them such so that you can walk with your head held high. I make a living out of what you earn in papers. And still you’re the stronger one, bolder one?
You drive your strength from deciding whether i’ll be born or not. You drive your strength from your decision whether i’ll study or not. You drive your strength from rules that you inflict on me whether i should fall in love or not, whether i should be a virgin or not. You drive your strength from your decision whom i should be married to or by whom my virginity should be broken. You drive your strength from your wish that you want to have sex with me with or without my consent. You drive your strength from your wish of how should I live my life. You drive your strength from your wish that I should stay at home or not. You drive your strength from the extra-marital affair you have with a woman (whose character you assassinate once you get caught) considering that I can never do likewise, because i’m a pati vratha patni. You drive your strength from the fact that our children were brought up and would live under your name. You drive your strength from the fact that I would cease to be known only as your wife and the mother of your children.
You drive your strength from your control over me whereas the fact is that your control over me is my wish, my choice and still you’re the powerful one.

Bangles?
Well I wish all men could wear bangles like I do but they cannot because my bangles weigh the responsibilities I hold. they speak of my sensuality and of the glory of my power and strength. I celebrate myself by wearing them. I strengthen myself when I wear them.
so I would proceed with everything that is un-womenly if that’s my wish. I would explore my sexuality with anyone that would interest me. I would wear a hijab or nothing for that matter if that’s what I wish. I would dance madly. I would laugh incontrollably. I would cry inconsolably. I would remain unmarried. I would marry the one I love. I would talk about politics and politicians (you’be lucky to have me as one infact).
I would be passionate, happy and satisfied in everything I would do. I would be happy even if the sadness wins me over because of any of my decision. I would stand back up strong and high and fight like a queen but with my bangles worn around my wrists out of my choice to wear them which you don’t have because you’re not strong enough to carry them well.

So let me sit with my legs kept wide open while having a cup of coffee with a book by Vatsyayana (Kamasutra) in my hand and you keep driving your strength from criticizing me.

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