The Street

I have been reading the Blank Noise Blogathon posts. They have only reinforced what I’d always known. Street harassment is something that women confront everyday, without fail, every time they walk out of their homes. (For the moment/for this post, I'm going to ignore the harassment of women within the 'home'). All of us have hundeds of stories to share. Teaching in a women’s college has at least given me this knowledge--that I am not alone in the constant humiliation of my Self. The humiliation that I have to face simply because I have breasts and a vagina and I haven’t yet learnt to walk with lowered eyes. My stories are no different from the stories that other women have to tell. The ‘accidental’ brush, the pinching of buttocks, the groping hands in trains, the quick squeeze of the breasts, the rubbing of erect penises against the body—the list is endless. I feel like I need a rant, but I’m too tired today and a poem (or poems) will have to do.



The Street: I


The street knows

I’m a sum total of body-parts


I’m flesh

in the marketplace

ready for the taking


The street grows

lewd hands

and sneering eyes

and slaps me until I shrink to a zero




The Street: II


When my friend

talks about riding

a nightwave on a distant

moon-drenched street


I want to scream.

I will never know

what it means

to seduce

the nightstreets





The Street: III

The street has inscribed

a frown inside me.


I can’t rub it off

And I wear it

emblazoned on my skin.



- Action Hero ~River~