She plans her day
From her yoga poses
to her matching earrings.
She treads wearily
into her life,
to nurture a man's world.
She constructs her sentences
Misconstruction lurks just around the corner -
clear and direct: aggressive
passionate and caring: hysterical
feeling and emotive: fragmented
goal-oriented and purposeful: cut-throat
professional and polite: prude
Who should she be today?
Which battles should she pick today,
so she will be taken seriously.
Taking a hiatus from 70 cents to a 100,
she stumbles upon the thought:
What is the value of her 2 cents?
Her guess? Not a lot.
She plans her clothes
Too deep, too short, too bright
too boring, too in, too dated
She wants to be seen,
but knows that the world
she calls home,
will raise a finger and an eyebrow
without a thought
if she gets promoted (she was dressed like a fill-in-the-blank)
if she gets raped (she was wearing fill-in-the-blank)
She makes life choices
If she doesn't change her last name...
She doesn't love him.
If she decides to keep her job...
She's not committed to her family.
If she decides to quit...
She's so lost and doesn't have any purpose.
If she moves countries to be someone she loves...
She's so selfish and doesn't care about her family.
If she goes home to spend time with her family...
She's so selfish and doesn't care about her husband.
If she drinks and has friends...
She doesn't care about her husband.
If she doesn't drink and doesn't have friends...
She doesn't know how to have fun.
She watches media
They tell her things she's heard too often:
she's not thin enough
not tall enough
not well-dressed enough
not holding the right cup of coffee
not wearing the right style of pants
not walking in the right pair of shoes
not wearing an empowering sanitary napkin
not cooking enough for her husband
not sacrificing enough for her family
not having big dreams
not putting her dreams aside for her family's.
They are all letting her know:
See, here's the thing -
I am a woman.
And I am so much more.
I am here, now, and all
the phenomenal women
that have been.
I am the dreams of a basketball lover
and the hardbound thesis of a graduate student.
I am the turmeric on the hands of a chef
and the calloused finger tips of a guitarist.
I am the sound of a late night at work
and the sun's first ray on a yogi.
I am the blisters from the long marches for equality
and the lump in my throat when I said, "Stop hitting me."
I am the remnants of a firm handshake
and the cradle that rocks my baby.
I am this, that, and who I want to be.
|Thank you to my Nani and so many empowered women I am humbled to know and because of whom - I am enough.|