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Fearless, Because I’ve Been Afraid Through Generations

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Fear, shame, prejudice – all comes the way of a girl from the moment she is born, changing form only to suit the stage of life she’s at. But despite it all, she survives, thrives. How?

The first fear at being conceived
A girl they would not want
The goddess worshippers who seek
Only sons as progeny

The second fear at being born
Will I survive the neglect and scorn?
The birth they don’t celebrate
But secretly mourn

The next fear every step of a girl life
Being treated as less, unequal and frail
The constant weighing of my being
On a prejudiced scale

The trickle of blood down my legs
Is isolation, humiliation and fear at best?
No longer sacred, I am now impure
They say so, I am not sure

Is my body then just a contested space?
Their honour and shame
In a vagina they so hate?
The body they touch
The soul they fail to embrace

The next threshold, a pedestal actually
Of producing their children
Sons ideally and abysmally
The pedestal is a prison
A cage factually

Fear ridden is the fate of a girl
The fear of being
Of self, of world
Of being a body
That can be used and mauled
Of bringing “shame”
And “honour” to uphold?

And then I wonder
If I am frail
How is it that over all the fears
I prevail?

I do not fit into frames any more
I redefine identity
Carving wings from adversity
I soar

So now I am fearless
As fearless one can ever be
Because I speak of feminism
And equality
But I do not adhere to what Beauvoir said
My gender won’t be my destiny!

Editor’s note: This story had been shortlisted for the June 2018 Muse of the Month, but not among the top 5 winners.

Image source: By Ilya Mauter [CC BY 3.0 ], from Wikimedia Commons

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Pooja Priyamvada is a columnist, professional translator and an online content and Social Media consultant.

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