Maybe if I saw myself through more kind eyes
Everything they said would turn into lies

Am I not an ordinary human being
with your dirty eyes, who are you seeing?

Why do you judge me on my grades?
that makes me think about blood and blades.

I remember being called characterless
because you didn’t know I was going through this mess.

They repeatedly called me a slut,
have you ever noticed this painful cut?

If it is a taboo to talk about periods
Why do they frankly comment on our body, these Idiots

In the end, it is only you
Have faith in everything you do.

Poem on justice by PN, a 13-year-old

 

Response to PN

Dear PN,

I read and read your tender poem so many times and it touched me in a way that I might not be able to explain in words but I would like to try. 

The words “dirty eyes” stood out to me and I wondered at who the carriers of these dirty eyes are – is it the society at large which dictates and how girls should behave, what clothes they should wear, how their bodies are to be commented upon, how their worth is valued, what they can talk about and what they have to stay silent on. Otherwise, she is judged to be “characterless,” “a  slut.” And I also reflected upon, whether, these “dirty eyes” also like to convince young girls that, “it is only you,” somewhere isolating them from other young girls and other people with “kind eyes.” 

The image that came to me was of many young people with “kind eyes” coming together and standing up to “dirty eyes.” I wonder what would that look like? 

Having grown up in a society where “dirty eyes” follow us everywhere, I resonated so much with your poem though I did not have the skills to express myself the way you have been able to. I think your poem speaks for and about so many girls and women who live with this in our society. 

Your words reminds me that we have to stand up to the “dirty eyes” and  what I will cherish and take back with me is how if we learned to look at ourselves and others through, what you exquisitely called “kind eyes” there will be a unique solidarity that we will foster together. Again, I wonder what would that look like? 

ss

 

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