The Poetry Club, Airplane Poetry Movement and The Hive came together to pull off an event on #UndoingGender. They had asked for submissions and this piece was one that they picked for a feature performance. I performed it last evening with Karthik Rao on the guitar. I’ll post a video shot from a better angle shortly.

My Feminism Is Someone You Haven’t Met Before

When I tell people
“Don’t call me chick”,
they say,
“You’re not, like, one of those feminist types, are you?”
No. I’m not.
I’m not any kind of feminist that you’ve ever met
And chick? That’s a yellow baby bird
I’m not yellow
I’m the colour of Fair & Lovely ads
Before the girl gets the boy, the job, the life
My Feminism knows appearance matters
But that’s because she looks fabulous in every colour
My Feminism is a flirt
She doesn’t have ‘angry tearful breasts’
But a pair that go in opposite directions
So she uses a bra to hold them together
and calls them ‘Bait’
My Feminism says, “Hello, boys”
My Feminism loves men
Of course, they are often useless
But that’s not their fault – they think with the wrong head
My Feminism has boyfriends and best friends
and a Best Man at her wedding
She changes her mind
No you stupid boy, it’s not always PMS
I would die if bled every time I felt something
Yes, bleeding has something to do with periods
And no, women aren’t really scared of blood
We just pretend so we can laugh behind your back
My Feminism will not make you feel like a man
ßIf your body plumbing is my responsibility
I’m going to flush it down the drain
But my Feminism is not hard
She cries when rape happens
She aches in a world that values control over consent
Gender, sexuality, relationship status regardless
My Feminism weeps the unshed tears of all the men she has known
She bleeds when she sees broken children
Underage is a sin, whether it owns a penis or a vagina
My Feminism loves children
It’s an affection that wears innocence and magic
Not a maternity gown
My Feminism owns her body and her choices
My Feminism won’t condemn you for sexualising women
This body was designed for sex
Good sex. Lots of sex.
And when you’re done gaping over that
She’ll explain the difference between ’sexual being’ and ’sex object’
So don’t chick me, you
She wears red lipstick and combat boots
Kanjeevaram sarees, backless cholis
Butterfly clips and leather jackets
She’s siren, babydoll, bitch, child-woman, earth mother
She knows even labels come off
Even ink washes off
My Feminism doesn’t believe in
Slut shaming
Fat shaming
Any kind of shaming
She’s shameless
But not nameless
She believes with real responsibility, comes real power
So if you’re getting friendly with a lot of crotches,
Girl, you better learn where to hit if the shit hits the fan
And stop moping about your weight and calling it cute things like plus size
And “Real women have curves”
Get real
My Feminism gets a workout because
She knows adrenalin and endorphins make up for absent male attention

My Feminism reads
Shakespeare, Sophie Kinsella, Terry Prachett, Milan Kundera
and Nancy Friday
She gets together with Hermione Granger and Katniss Everdeen
to laugh, laugh, laugh at Bella and her stupid vampire
Hell, my Feminism plays poker with Frankenstein
Like every other monster, he’s just a little boy who was created by a woman

My Feminism is a cat
Alley cat
Well, cats have nine lives
And guess how often my pretty, funny feminism lands on its feet?
Always. Miaow.

I am an individual
And my Feminism is someone you haven’t met before.

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