The Good Woman

the good woman

 

This is not a story…

Just a ramble of events,

Common enough, but of significance…

Meant to cause a dent…

Indentation in one’s thinking,

Towards a better inkling…

Of what it means to be a person first…

Before we think of the gender outburst!

It could very well be the story…

Of many a life…

Because everyday experiences…

Are tales in their own right!

I haven’t been good…

At all, today,

And if you ask anyone,

They’ll undoubtedly say…

“Whenever we call her,

She screams away!”

Eight out of ten times,

You’ll hear me say,

That negative word…

That we’ve all heard…

It sounds like ‘glow’,

And I’m certain you know…

That word isn’t ‘go’,

That word is ‘NO’!!

This word called ‘no’,

It helps one grow!

For me, ‘no’ is positive…

And so…

 

I haven’t been good,

For a good, long time,

Because saying the word ‘no’…

Is synonymous with crime!

I say it with reason,

I say it with rhyme…

Saying ‘no’ isn’t treason,

So what’s with the whine!?!

I wasn’t remotely good today…

I didn’t stop to think…

What ma-in-law would say…

When I rushed out to shop…

My heart away!

Come to think of it…

I’ve never been good,

Because, for all the good reasons…

I don’t listen to that brood!

Any brood that states…

I must do as I ‘should’…

I must obey for praise…

Under watchful gaze!

If I forget to buy apples,

One day in my life,

I’ve turned belligerent,

I’m given the knife!

I haven’t been good…

In anyone’s eyes…

As I put myself first,

That’s what they despise…

I’m not a good woman,

Not a good wife,

Not a good mum,

To save my life!!

Not a good worker,

A regular work shirker,

As I refuse to do…

Another’s work too!

I refuse to do…

Another’s constant bidding…

If you let it…

EXPECTATION…

Can stealthily set in…

No! I’m not kidding!

The worst part is…

That some WOMEN I know…

Believe their sole goal…

Is never to say “no”!!

So it’s classical conditioning…

Pavlov would be proud…

That many of us…

Choose to cower down…

Where’s that damn sisterhood,

When one needs it most?

We’re happy lackeys,

Serving all & sundry buttered toast!

I think, some folks I know…

Don’t possess a brain…

They’re rushing about…

To the point of disdain…

Barely time to breathe,

Eating meals on their feet,

Drinking tea as they stand…

“We have to eat last,

First comes our man!”

And if there are kids,

They come first too,

All have to be served…

It’s just so absurd…

This kinsfolk queue!

We live in modern times,

With untold freedom…

Suffragettes got rights…

Only now, to lose them!

Calmly, one day,

At Di Bella, I sat…

Having a coffee…

And a long-awaited chat…

When my friend gets a call,

And a voice asks,

“Where you at?

Come home, you’ve got tasks!”

And my friend rises, pat!!

“Sorry Shez, gotta leave!”

“But we just got here, half an hour ago!”

But she still has to go…

Why though?

Because spouse returned early, you know!

“What will you do,

Once you reach home?”

“Oh nothing,” she says…

Hubby doesn’t care…

“He just wants my presence…

Just wants me there!!”

I’m not against housework,

Sure, do that too…

But do something for yourself…

That’s fulfilling for just you…

I know women who cringe…

At the thought of saying “no”…

“Ram! Ram!” they shudder,

And nodding they go!

Some are educated too…

With those myriad degrees!

But the mindset is mindless…

They are raised just to please…

The opposite sex…

They are raised to believe…

In a patriarchal text…

Thinking is bad,

No, you can’t think at all…

Because if you do think,

Those “others” feel small…

You don’t give them attention…

They think they are due…

They’ll go crying to the heavens…

They’ll call you names too!

“How did my son…

Choose such a shrew?”

Here’s a revelation, ma-in-law…

He didn’t, t’was you!!

I’m told it’s my duty,

To think of the family (only)…

But there’s also me,

In the family, you see!

The definition of ‘good’…

Doesn’t suit me,

As i refused to help son…

With a project, you see!?

When I said, I’d to leave,

As I had a job…

“You’re not a good mother!”

Cries son in gator sob!

“Can’t you bunk work?

Aren’t I your SON??”

SON, you can’t shirk…

You’re own things to be done!!”

Then dirty looks come…

From far and from near…

And before you know it,

I can clearly hear…

The snickering,

Bickering,

(supposed to be whispering)

Bad-mouthing…

Statements of doubting…

Complaining,

Then shouting!

This is the point…

Where I calmly announce…

“I’m going out tonight,

WITHOUT my spouse!”

And now I get stares,

They’re gaping aghast!

Soon they’ll call me…

“Tarty, cheap, fast”!

I remember, one day,

I ventured to say…

That I wouldn’t fast,

Stay hungry all day…

So then all the ‘elders’…

Sat in a conference…

Whispers in a conclave…

Tarnished by ignorance…

But those mutters were loud enough…

Just for my ears…

“What will God say?

She will cry blood tears!”

Again, these were women…

All brought up with fears…

They say that I’m teaching…

The kids the wrong things…

I don’t want the kids…

Growing up thinking they’re things…

To be tossed about…

They must learn to think,

Not fall back, not shrink…

But inquire, and shout…

At all loutish louts!

You feel you’re being judged,

The Spanish Inquisition was mild…

The old ways won’t budge,

Learn to ignore it…

And in time….

You’ll feel peace of mind!

How hard can it be,

I’ve never quite understood…

To say one of the shortest…

Words in the book?

It doesn’t mean you’re bad…

And if people think you’re not good…

Just be happy…

That you steadfast stood!

If I don’t expect them to jump…

At the click of my fingers…

Why do they then?

This question so lingers…

People like being bullies,

And to ‘support’ you must succumb,

But I never grew up like that!

My God! It’s just so dumb!

The people, those bullies…

Who demand you say ‘yes’,

Are insecure creatures…

Paranoid at best…

They need importance,

They need to feel wanted…

They panic, they fret…

When you seem undaunted!

There’s harassment everywhere…

In all forms and sizes…

It can creep up behind you…

In all sorts of guises…

The moment you’re conceived…

With chromosome XX…

That’s the moment they perceive…

They may force you to believe…

That you’re a weaker sex!

It’s not even about…

Being a female or a male…

Its about being a person…

About strength, not frail…

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt…

From never being good…

If saying ‘no’ is a curse,

Then curse, you should!

To be really good,

You’ve got to be bad…

It’s the only way…

My genes feel glad!

(Though it tends to make…

Others quite mad!!)

What’s feminism to me?

It’s about personality…

It’s not just about…

Being someone, genetically…

It’s about saying ‘no’…

And being comfy in your skin,

It’s about a confidence you know…

That comes from within…

It’s about standing up…

To fight the good fight…

Not staying mum…

Because they think they’re right!

If we want a change,

We can’t think in chains…

We have to think free…

Stick by our claims…

We have to stand firm…

Be intrinsically strong…

Extrinsic approval…

Doesn’t last long!

This place needs…

A Renaissance!

Don’t you agree?

Perchance?

Maybe a FEMAISSANCE!

 

By Scherezade Mansukhani

Scherezade Mansukhani

Scherezade is a Clinical Child Psychologist, Part-time mother, blogger, French teacher and IATA teacher. She has worked with the differently abled, and now works on and off as a teacher.

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