Lessons In Defiance

The belligerent rise of a mid riff blouse, a slice of skin,
the hint of spine – what causes scandal – the wicked
hem of satin skirt, the threatening plunge of a v–neck
shirt, deliberate failure to conform to established
norm – what makes me defiant – disapproving nods,
unshaken resolve, the cheek to never yield to a
progressively feudal world, the unfazed acceptance
of  my sex without cringe or sigh – what makes me
fly, makes me defiant – irks the chauvinist eye, not
the latent cries of badgered body and mind, the
abuse I’ve grown accustomed to comes second
to all that makes me worthwhile – and what is
scrutinized –  the revolting color of lip, the obstinate
swing of hip and my not so subtle ways, the scars
concealed beneath a perfectly made up face are
insignificant when all I am is just a varying sum of
flesh and commoditized limb – what makes me
dissent, what compels me to rebel – causes scandal,
makes me rise in defiance.

image2 (4)

~By: Tanya~
~Illustrations courtesy Pinterest~

39 thoughts on “Lessons In Defiance

  1. Concerning the picture, I couldn’t help but focus in on the comment, “Your clothing is distracting the boys.” Sometimes, when I see a guy gawking at a girl, I’ll say, “Please act as if you’ve seen a woman before.” To me, it’s the guy who should be embarrassed by his behavior, not the girl for dressing in what she feels like wearing.

    Wonderful poetry and picture, by the way. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh I know what you mean! When I was in college, some of our professors had the audacity to send us back to our hostel for dressing “inappropriately” and you’ll be shocked to know what they term as “inappropriate” in most parts of India. Apparently all that because the boys can’t take it. I mean come on, they’re guys not dogs! As for the ogling, that’s a universal problem and it makes me sad. You just have to learn to live with it, at least that’s how it is here. If it were up to me I’d call for a mass castration drive but I’m not sure if that would help either. Maybe when I’m President, worth a try. Thank you for reading and taking out the time to comment, it means so much! I still have to write you that mail, please bear with me. I’m caught in a rut as always! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think we should hold boys to higher standards, help them to understand that they can control themselves, rather than excusing their behavior by placing the blame on a girl. That doesn’t help them and it only makes the girl feel like she’s done something wrong when she actually hasn’t. Maybe you can help get this message out when you’re President. 🙂

        Yeah, I’m still looking forward to that email. The nice thing about not having received it yet is that I have had plenty of time to gather my thoughts concerning all of the ways in which I’ve screwed up. Haha!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, the boys could use some serious counselling and maybe a couple of moral science lectures as well. All on my presidential, don’t you worry Mister. Although judging by the speed of things the only place I’ll ever be someone important is my dog’s kennel. Email tonight, positively. I put a post-it on my laptop. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so powerfully descriptive, and made me squirm in so many ways: a) as a teacher trying to protect young women from harm, b) as a young woman, also scarred and defiant, c) as a feminist who thinks women should never have to defend themselves, and d) as a defender of rights for all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your feedback V.J. I completely understand where you’re coming from. I hate it how some people will reduce you to just skin and body. And god forbid we have an opinion about it! It’s sickening really, that we still have to write about this stuff. I’ve had my fair share of being shamed and judged for my choices, from clothes to education, what I want to be and just about everything in life, that too from complete strangers. And I’ve always wondered why is it that only women have to explain and defend their choices. I guess all we can do is play our part, hope for change and pray for courage. Thank you for taking out the time to leave this wonderful comment, I wish I had more role models like you while I was growing up. Anyway, better late than never. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Same. It perplexes me. What is so scandalous about skin? I just don’t understand. I’ve got a lot of flak all my life for living what they call an “unapologetic” life and I’ve realized it’s these pseudo-progressive borderline fascist people who are the worst. Leave it up to them and we’ll have a code of conduct manual on our desks tomorrow morning (Pheww.. felt good to let that out.). That said, I’d still be as defiant if not more. Thank you for reading. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great poem! Why must we be expected to yield to others expectations? And then be looked down upon when we exercise our own personal freedom?
    It makes no sense!
    Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Phoenix, it is the worst feeling, to live a life within certain predefined limits that you don’t comprehend. I resonate with your comment completely. Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your defiance to not to conform to the norms of the so called modern society has led to an understanding within me that equality in this bloody patriarchal world can only be attained once we men and women together start challenging the norms themselves . I believe we have already started taking the baby steps that are possible. This particular write up is one such several steps taken in the right direction . Miss Tanya Sood once again you keep rising the bar of expectations with each writing piece. Thoroughly Impressive .


  5. Lovely, relatable, liberating! 😀

    I often wonder why it isn’t normal for a person to just be themselves, and why it has to be called rebellion.
    On a related note to your poem, a friend said to me today, “Some folks ask me if I’ve ever been teased, and I say luckily, no, and then I mentally check myself: why should it be ‘luckily’, and not normal?”
    The only thing someone can ever have to judge you on is personality, not what covers you!


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