The Mountains I Have To Climb… Because I’m A Woman!

There are many mountains I need to climb just to be, just to live my life, just to have my say... because they are mountains you've built to oppress women.

Trigger Warning: This deals with various kinds of violence against women including rape, and may be triggering for survivors.

I haven’t climbed a literal mountain yet
Was busy with the metaphorical ones – born a woman
Fighting for the air that should have come free
And I am one of the privileged ones, I realize that

Yet, if I get passionate, just like you do
I will pay for it – with burden, shame, – and possibly a life to carry
So, my mountains are the laws you overturn
My mountains are the empty shelves where there should have been pills

My mountains are the courtroom stairs
That I have to climb just to hear you slay
Not the demons who violated me, for they’d be set free
You slay by asking why it was me, and not anyone else?

My mountains are the garlands
That you put use to honour my rapists
The accolades, the excuses, and the promise that it will all happen again
My mountains are the ones you set free

My mountains are the smaller pay checks
And the unpaid caregiving that’s more mine than yours
The small dreams crushed every day
For its not safe for me to live your way

My mountains are your rights to my body
I can’t say no, for I married you
My mountain is your right to be angry
And to beat me black and blue, for I married you

My mountains are the roads I can’t drive on without your permission
The same ones that should have ours together
I haven’t seen them, but that doesn’t matter
It’s rough terrain to climb that they exist somewhere

Never miss real stories from India's women.

Register Now

What is the tallest mountain of these you ask?
There is a me that believes that this is how it should be
I am lesser and I matter less
The burden of procreation, purity, and preservation, is all on me

I am emotional, and that is bad for boardroom
I am not strong to fight battles so I need to wait as you war
God gave us different bodies to prove his point
So why should I cross a line that has been clearly marked

This is my biggest mountain, the tallest peak
I am my own enemy, like you have taught me to be
But slowly I have been gathering all of me
Black, white, rich and poor; across caste, class, country

For all of my mountains
Soon I will have an army, you’ll see
And then Everest and Kilimanjaro will happen
I will climb them alone at night – happily, and safely.

Image source: pixabay

Liked this post?

Join the 100000 women at Women's Web who get our weekly mailer and never miss out on our events, contests & best reads - you can also start sharing your own ideas and experiences with thousands of other women here!


About the Author

Tanushree Ghosh

Tanushree Ghosh (Ph. D., Chemistry, Cornell, NY), is Director at Intel Corp., a social activist, and an author. She is a contributor (past and present) to several popular e-zines incl. The Huffington Post US ( read more...

58 Posts | 169,933 Views

Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!

All Categories