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No Country For Women -- slam poetry by Anushka Kulkarni

Date night, late night

reaching for the pepper spray, ready to put up a fight.

No country for women.

How long does it take to grasp the concept

that a skirt does not equate to consent?

Do not mistake silence for agreement.

No country for women.

Mother, daughter, sister, wife

doesn't matter, to them we're all just mice

blinded by their privilege and pride.

No country for women.

But what about our right to education,

to a career and financial freedom?

Instead you tame our imagination

by presenting marriage as the ultimate solution.

No country for women.

Boys will be boys, what a crude misconception!

We don't need boys' explanation

or men's protection.

If only they would stop and listen.

But society is stuck in the shallow end,

lingering on our exterior, unable to depend

on our contributions for a mend.

The ideas were all theirs, men pretend.

Our voices drowned out by the roar of the boys' club

fending off sexual advances and awkward hugs

losing the battle to be taken seriously for once.

No country for women.

Saree, hijab, gowns, jeans or any other fashion,

divided by religion

but united by years of discrimination.

Whoever decided that women should be second class citizens?

No country for women.

Homemaker, employee, caregiver

can we just take a moment to appreciate her

as a person, not just a multitasking wonder?

We're not machines designed to make your life easier.

No country for women.

Why is the blood, that comes monthly,

deemed disgusting and dirty

when it has given rise to all of humanity?

Give me a reason for this inequity.

We're tired of "cold hard facts", shrouded in ignorance,

about our body's fragility and our brain's irrelevance.

It's time to speak up, right this instant.

So go ahead, call us damsels in distress,

spoilt, entitled princesses,

or even bitches,

because you're secretly scared of our prowess.

Please, spare me the mansplaining.

Let's put a pin in the slut-shaming

and gas-lighting

and try to reflect on our collective wrongdoing

as a society that's been failing.

No country for women.

Yet for every hundred girls that are sold,

at least one rises up, strong and bold.

And for every hundred girls whose futures are tyrannically told,

at least one pushes to break the mould.

Hope is alive, change is on the horizon

as this new generation

leads the way, taking up immediate action,

making everyone listen.

So which side are you on? That's your decision.

Nevertheless, we are determined to tell our story,

and break free from the shackles of patriarchy

as we swear on all that is holy

to resurrect in all it's glory,

a country for women.


Anushka Kulkarni is a hard core Swiftie from India. When she's not studying biology, she can be found scrolling through magazine submission guidelines. She is lucky enough to have been published in Friday Flash Fiction and 50 Word Stories.

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