The truth is that the vacuum that builds up in a girl’s stomach as she quickens her pace through a desolate road, looking back every other minute to ensure there is no other shadow lurking behind her, is nothing but fear.
Fear is the single common heirloom, that as girls in India, we all inherit from our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters and friends. Fear for self-preservation, and of men who can do things to hurt and shame us. We learn to weave this fear seamlessly into our lives and never even realize when it becomes second nature. This perpetual fear eats into a woman’s carefree spirit and keeps her on guard at all times.
We ought not to privilege some people with a higher status, absolving them of blame, according to our perception of them as a nice person. When we put someone up on a pedestal as a nice person, we fail to see them for what they really are: human. Humans are capable of anything, of rape, of murder, of assault. So what if they’re nice to their cat and they always send their gran a birthday card? The only thing we should judge people by are their actions and if one of those actions is rape, then they are a rapist, regardless of all the nice actions that came before the act of rape. Royse might easily believe that her friend was not to blame, but “mixed signals”, but for me? If a man penetrates an unconscious woman, that doesn’t make him a “nice guy”, as Royse calls him. And if a woman such as Royse defends the actions of a rapist? …Well, that doesn’t make her much more than a rape-apologist. Actions are what counts. Royse wrote a rape apologist article, and so she is a rape apologiser. It might seem black and white, but there is a very distinct line between consent and non-consent, between condoning rape and damning it.
She cheats on someone who is isn’t even married to, and gets fired. And Chris Brown…? He beats the living shit out of his girlfriend, is accepted back into the music industry, onto big ass talk shows, and then he makes a song with said ex-girlfriend - AND THAT’S ALL COOL? K, makes sense.
Anonymous asked: I think you mean "I have no counterargument". It's ok, have fun working at Starbucks then marrying a rich man to carry you through life, just like every moron woman (redundant) does.
No, I think I mean that your “argument” - if it can even be called that - is so unfounded and so bigoted that you expose yourself for what you are without me needing to say or do anything at all.
If you say things like “you’re not intelligent” (ableism), “moron woman” (ableism and sexism) and my degree will only get me a job in Starbucks (classism), quite frankly, it says a lot more about you than it does me or what I’m doing with my life. Which is, by the way, trying to have a positive influence in the world rather than a negative one - like you. Can I ask you what posting hateful anons is achieving you for your career path, seeing as that’s what you’re so focused upon? Please rethink your attitudes and values, or go away, get a notebook, and spew all your bile there away from humanity.
“Pretty” by Katie Makkai, slam poetry
When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother “What will I be? Will I be pretty? ” Will I be pretty? Will I be pretty? What comes next? Oh right, will I be rich which is almost pretty depending on where you shop. And the pretty question infects from conception passing blood and breath into cells. The word hangs from our mothers’ hearts in a shrill of fluorescent floodlight of worry.
“Will I be wanted? Worthy? Pretty? But puberty left me this funhouse mirror dry add: teeth set at science fiction angles, crooked nose, face donkey-long, and pox-marked where the hormones went finger-painting my poor mother.
“How could this happen? You’ll have porcelain skin as soon as we can see a dermatologist.” “You sucked your thumb. That’s why your teeth look like that! ” “You were hit in the face with a Frisbee when you were six, otherwise your nose would have been fine! ”
Don’t worry; we will get it all fixed she would say, grasping my face, twisting it this way and that as if it were a cabbage she might buy. But, this is not about her. Not her fault she, too, was raised to believe the greatest asset she could bestow upon her awkward little girl was a marketable appearance.
By sixteen I was pickled by ointments, medications, peroxides. Teeth corralled into steel prongs, laying in a hospital bed. Face packed with gauze, cushioning the brand new nose the surgeon had carved.
Belly gorged on two pints of my own blood I had swallowed under anesthesia, and every convulsive twist, like my body screaming at me from the inside out “What did you let them do to you? ” All the while, this never ending chorus groaning on and on like the IV needle dripping liquid beauty into my blood.
“Will I be pretty? ” Will I be pretty like my mother, unwrapping the gift wrap to reveal the bouquet of daughter her $10,000 bought her? Pretty? Pretty.
And now I have not seen my own face in ten years. I have not seen my own face in ten years, but this is not about me! This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in. About women who will prowl thirty stores in six malls to find the right cocktail dress, but haven’t a clue where to find fulfillment or how to wear joy, wandering through life shackled to a shopping bag, beneath those two pretty syllables.
This, this is about my own some-day daughter. When you approach me, already stung-stayed with insecurity, begging, “Mom, will I be pretty? Will I be pretty? , ” I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer no.
The word pretty is unworthy of everything you will be, and no child of mine will be contained in five letters. You will be pretty intelligent, pretty creative, pretty amazing, but you will never be merely “pretty.”