XX Gossip Girl


Alternatively - The Right to a Capital I

 A Slam Poem

I've never really understood why I have the privilege to stand in front of you and smile and wave my hand and worry about little things like where I'm going tonight, who I'm going with, and how I'm going to get there. 

I've never really understood why I, at seventeen years old, have the opportunity to speak up and be bold, have the possibility to grab at my dreams, put them on a ribbon and tie them around my wrist so they won’t turn to mold. 

I've never really understood why I can be warmed underneath love and happiness and endless possibilities when girls at my home, younger than me, with probably more to say, more to hear, more to do, are burnt, drowned and choked, left to the cold for holding an XX. 

I've never really understood why some believe feminism is not necessary, why people associate equality with a genocide, why some women are scared to be called feminists for believing in equal rights and why some men shudder at the thought of equal pay. You might say that feminism makes simple jokes offensive. In all honesty, at this moment, I don’t care about your “women belong in the kitchen” and “feed the children” and “clean the house”. I don’t care because in my country, in my home, there are girls with so much to see, so much to do, so much to believe in, so much to say, who are trapped in oppression, kidnapped by bigotry, subdued by misogyny and “tradition”- there isn’t much of a story left to tell. 

There isn't much of a story left to tell because as I say this I bleed tears that stir my empty stomach, crunch my ripped heart and map rivers down my sister's red cheeks, screeching against the horror, quiet against the cruelty.
     There isn't much of a story left to tell because right now, in India, there are mothers with hands folded and heads bowed as they silently wait for the results of their baby's gender test, praying, dreading the doctor's sigh: "It's a girl".
    There isn't much of a story left to tell because somewhere in my home country, mothers of female children are sedated, weeping for their baby girl, waking to find their daughter dead. 
    There isn't much of a story left to tell because in the streets of a lonesome village, there are women beaten up for carrying a little girl, blood pouring down broken faces because it's their fault for giving birth to an unwanted burden.
     There isn't much of a story left to tell because behind the bamboo tree in the thickets of the forests, newborn baby girls are trapped in clay pots and suffocated.
     There isn't much of a story left to tell because mothers in the farm house wail as they watch their husbands slay their children for being born with two Xs. 
     There isn't much of a story left to tell because even now, in our accepting, advanced society, female babies are fighting to survive against a family that won't flinch at the screams of a drowning girl. 
    There isn't much of a story left to tell because gender still defines the justification for survival. 
    There isn't much of a story left to tell because each and every one of us could have been the baby slain for containing an XX.

I've never really understood why I survived an inevitable fact for young girls in India - for this, I thank my family. Thank you for not cutting the ribbon off me. 

Female infanticide is a prominent occurrence whereI'mm from and I've tried to understand why from an outsider's eye. 
1) Women have to give a dowry to the man they marry.
2) Men can work.
3) You can’t ruin the family line of strong, dignified men. Girls in India need feminism to battle these ideals, call it tradition or bigotry - there is a truth to face and it’s harsh and hard-hitting, but this is why we need feminism, to fight this battle together. 

By spreading awareness, perhaps we can make a better life for this girls, give them the opportunities written in their faith before it is crushed, let them capture their balloon of hope and tie it around their healthy, blood-pumping wrists, and let them stand in front of you, and smile, and wave their hands and speak their truth and celebrate their dreams. 

Until then however, I seek to be their voice, I seek to fight tradition, I seek to save the XX.

Text by Dvita Kapadia and Visual by Jasmin Yeganeh Garousi




2 comments

  1. the visual is so beautiful and the writing is so well done. really nice collaboration!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so awesome I never really knew about this great way to raise awareness

    ReplyDelete