When Consent is Inconsequential

Stare at my midriff, ogle it until it melts.
Objectify me.
Look at my coloured hair, my tattoos.
Judge me for this thin wire that rests on my shoulder,
Sexualise my bra strap.

Look at the clock?
Notice the time I enter my home at night.
Go all out with your glaring lack of civility and humanity
Strip me with your perverted mind.
Your sense of orthodoxy and your untaught, uncultivated mind.

Go on?
Measure all of it,
All of my character.
From the length of my skirt to the smoke from my cigarette.
Make me wear that dupatta, please, still follow me with your filthy eyes.
Morals and humanity. Basic civility. Decency. F*** those.

Kill me.
While I’m tiny, just a foetus.
Or let me live and treat me like a burden.
Limit my life to the home and school.

Curb my sexuality.
Mould my mind to make me believe this is how I should live.
I’m impure, I bleed, I can’t enter the temple.
I must hide it too.
I must confine myself:
To the boundaries and parameters of your indoctrination.
Who cares if this bleeding is the reason we exist.
Forget it all. Or don’t let it even enter your mind.

Restrict the years I can study before you pay people to marry me off.
Call me a slut if I date someone before that, god forbid.
Yes, all your Gods forbid womankind to be free.

My sexuality is a crime, a cardinal sin; a horror to your mind.
Yes, dress me up like a doll, heck, even make me believe that I love the grand party.
Transfer this property that is my existence.
It does not matter if I don’t want him:
I’m his wife, it is my duty to obey him.
Shape your laws around it,
Safeguard your f***ing privilege.
Subjugate us.
My consent is inconsequential.

Domesticate me.
Violate me.
Suppress my life.
Oppress my very existence.
My daughter’s too.
Snatch our liberty, for generations.
Make us believe we love it. Fool us.

Tell me to quiet down, our opinions make us less beautiful.
Use your weapons – Misogyny, Religion and Patriarchy.
Shut us up.
Make it taboo.
Stop me from speaking, take my son too.
Appropriate him in your design.
Massacre his mind, make it cruel.

As Nayyirah Waheed once wrote,
Make sure he is unaware, and if he does come to know –
Make him forget
That he is half-woman.

Do not tell him that he has lived within me –
Drinking my water, my organs, my cells.

Make him like you.
So that all of it continues, don’t let it ever stop.
From year to generation,
Atrocity to evil.

Farhan Arshad is an atheist and a feminist who lives in Delhi and is preparing for the UPSC. Find him on Instagram @farhanabegum69
Featured image credit: Reuters
Note: This piece has been edited to reflect that some lines were taken from Nayyirah Waheed’s poem ‘Salt’.