Our mothers and their daughters
carry the grief of patriarchy inside
their womb, calling their sons to
be a new change to this society.
Their skins are flamed in the hands
of a man, who has never been taught
what a woman can do with the
strength she carries in this world; kindness.
Ma always cut the call by saying,
‘You have to be kind’ and this kindness
that I carry is always the gift of her
words but I keep asking myself,
How do you women keep the rage
against patriarchy and still hold onto
your sons to be kinder?
A womb that carries a daughter
knows how long she will have to
suffer to realise, she is giving birth
to a rage, a rage deep rooted with
the anguish of how the whole world
sings when Krishna blows the whistle
and still fail to acknowledge the
sacrifice of goddess Sita.
Patriarchy makes a daughter believe
that, this is how she shall carry the
bruised hands of her mother
who were hidden inside the kitchen
of their misery.
I remember how men around me,
gutted the knives of hatred when
I picked a saree for myself. Men
never embraced the femininity,
and worshipped the masculinity
that was always loaded in my throat.
Ma and her ornaments always make
me write poems of strength because
it sparks a power of the kind of
woman Ma has been. She has taken
the bruised hands of her own
mother who never learnt the word
Freedom, from her lips that were
cut with the teeth of misogyny.
Ma tries to wash her hands whenever
she sees her daughter, bowing her
face down when another man
tells her to behave like a girl.
But ma, why did you tell me to
stay silent when I came home crying
because I was bullied? Wasn’t I
a victim of patriarchy that you carried
along from your own roots?
Ma tells me that no one has ever
wiped her tears than the daughter
who keeps listening to her of how
she wants her son to flourish in the world.
Who wipes the tears of the daughters
in a war with the sons of the house
leaving the unwashed plates of patriarchy
for them? Ma doesn’t know how I have
also been living in patriarchy, only to
realise men with skirts are a sin in
To ma, a woman who carried a queer
in her womb who breaks the chain
To the daughter, a woman who is a
rage of her mother’s tears and to
spell the word women in pride.
Harshit, of women and the flaming patriarchy.
Harshit Jalan (he/they) is a 22-year-old journalism student and a queer poet writing about the LGBTQIA+ community and womenhood. He likes to read and write poems. His favourite writer is Ocean Vuong.