Just Another Day
So they’re telling me today’s reserved for you. Some call it tokenism, some call it a well-deserved pause for reflection and celebration. But who says you’re not important or not worth celebrating? On the contrary, I think we convey your importance to us everyday.
We use words like motherfucker and bhenchod to convey our frustration and displeasure. Today, these are used as a generic reflex, but just like a persistent rumor they started with truth at their core – that invoking the women in our lives is bound to hurt more than anything else. That’s because we value them more than anything else. The women in our lives, that is. A sentiment so inherently possessive it automatically excludes every other woman. But it’s not as if they’re pariahs in our eyes either. We shower a lot of attention, mostly unwanted. On street corners, in buses, outside your homes, even inside your homes. We seek you out like feral beasts, senses on high alert for a whiff of your perfume, the faintest sound of your laughter, a glimpse of your body – covered in rags or riches – we don’t discriminate.
We make virtually every street unwalkable with a constant shower of attention, like a hailstorm of knife-shaped icicles. Ubiquitous, unforgiving. Who says you’re not important to us?
We don’t just seek companionship from you, we have loutish friends for that. We don’t just seek attention from you, we have facebook for that. We don’t just seek love from you, we have indulgent mothers for that. We want everything that is you. Literally everything. We want to own you, possess you. Who says you’re not important?
(We worship the feminine everyday, celebrate goddesses and pray to them for wisdom and wealth. Perhaps we should’ve created a goddess of irony.)
And yet, there are the meek among us, who are sleepless at the mere glimpse of you casually tying your hair or carelessly flicking it over your shoulder. Those of us who turn to stone as you approach within a mile. Tongue-tied, heart racing as you pass by, paralyzed with wonder as you speak, marveling at the way your mouth moves, wondering if there’s a nice word for us in there somewhere. To acknowledge with a sense of finality that there’s nothing else in the world that moves like you do. There are those among us who will take the time to woo you, because it’s important to us that you say yes. Because we don’t like to feel like thieves. There are those among us speechless at your ability to rend your bodies to create life and then go about your own as if nothing happened. Except, we know what you sacrificed so we could run around the world proudly proclaiming our right to bestow a surname on one more human being. There are also those among us who don’t think any less of a woman who has chosen to nurture her aspirations instead of a human being.
We celebrate you everyday, for better or worse. (I admit, mostly worse.)
I want to tell you what I really, really want this Women’s Day. An equilibrium. I want to be able to tell you that you look good without being judged for my motives. I want to be able to call you a shitty, rotten person because you’re a shitty, rotten person, not because you’re a woman. I don’t want to grudge your professional success because you’re a woman, but acknowledge it because you’re good at what you do. I want your company because I’m worthy of it, not because I’m entitled to it. I want to make you feel secure about sharing the same space as me. I don’t want you to sit in your own train compartment or do business with a bank only meant for you. Or live a day meant only for you.
Someday, this will be just another day.