Poem: Going Through My Instagram 3 AM At Night

Artwork by Malathi Jogi

Going through my Instagram 3 AM at night –
I realise I have never been that women,
That woman who uploads a selfie and men want to love her,
Take her out, hold her hand, hug her and kiss her – in public,
But are filled with fear as soon as they have to sit next to me on a table,
Or even walk me to the auto after a hookup night.
I realise I have never been that women,
That woman who uploads an #OOTD and men want to DM her,
Ask her out, tell her they miss her,
But my DMs are filled with messages reminding me each day-
My gender is a mental disorder, words like –
Ugly tranny, faggot, loser, slut, rapist,
I need to be raped or even happy that my father passed away.
That woman who knows how to put on makeup,
That woman who can freely wear a sari,
That woman who passes as a woman.

Don’t get me wrong,
My fight is not with that woman, I am just a different kind of woman.

Going through my Instagram 3 AM at night-
I ask myself what is that makes me less womanly for you,
Ah, I get it maybe it’s my body hair because of all you see on
Instagram is women without any body hair and rest are “femenist”
Maybe my voice, my facial hair, my figure, my height, or maybe just
Your thought that what is between my legs.
Or maybe be my Adhaar card because you believe in
The state gets to deciding my Gender and not me.

Going through my Instagram 3 AM at night-
I realise I will only be happy when I make you believe that I am a woman,
I don’t take any space and I don’t make head turns,
But I refuse to do that,
I will make will sure that every god damn eye is on me,
Claim my space wherever and whenever I want,
I will look at the women before me such as Sylvia Rivera and Marsha p Johnson
Who threw the first brick but were never acknowledged.

I will fight till my last breathe when the conversation moves from
Visibility to actually providing jobs
I will fight until the law looks at us more than a mental disorder patient,
I will fight until the right-wing press uses correct pronouns for us and
Not just portray us as a rapist, paedophiles or cons.

Support women, support trans women, non-binary women, femmes,
Disabled women, Dalit women, underprivileged women, black women, queer women, sex workers.
Support women you don’t know or women who you don’t even meet your expectation or ideas of what perfect women should be or can be. The future is us, imperfect women.

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