No Means No

Trigger warning: This poem contains details about sexual assault and harassment which may be triggering to survivors.

Millennia ago, early men assigned
Specific work to women designed
To ease the burden of everyday life
Like care-taking and making knives.

Why does segregation still exist?
Even though we did it all to resist
The inequality between children of god.
But all society did was nod.

You can’t go to work, you’re a woman;
Your life is destined for the oven.
Men are superior in the eyes of society;
I ask, where’s the morality?

Is this why we are looked as objects;
Just a body for men to inject
There’s a simple solution, they state
Stay inside your home after eight.

Did she deserved to be groped?
‘Oh, let her be safe,’ her mother hoped.
But so little did she know
Immoral men didn’t let her go.

Teach your daughters to dress
They said, without realising the mess
That was created by their son
For a simple reason: ‘just for fun’.

‘No means no, let me go,’ she said.
Slapped her and pushed her on the bed
For they were tied with a marital bond
Which meant he did no wrong!

‘Stop it, please,’ she screamed.
But rather, he vigorously leaned
Into her exposed breasts.
Ah well, you know the rest.

Do not worry, for I am ‘pure’
I’m just worried that there’s no cure
To quench the thirst of men’s desires
Who are disguised in various attire.

Amrusha Muralidharan is an 18-year-old from Chennai who is currently taking a gap year after high school to gain experience and explore her options.

Featured image credit: Pariplab Chakraborty