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  • Ojasvi Pandya

Of Mistakes And Misogyny

Trigger Warning: Graphic Content


She was born just a couple days ago, they figured, when they spotted her in the dumpster. She was found amidst trash, surrounded by stray dogs. Her body was half mutilated, nibbled away by the hungry animals. Her soft pink fingers, only six left now, bled crimson, and her big brown eyes, red and swollen, conveyed only terror. I tried to hold her close to me as I rushed her to the hospital, hoping against hope that my body warmth could do for her what her parents couldn't - save her life. But, it didn't. I saw her eyes flicker, reproachfully looking into mine, before they closed forever.

They found her moaning behind the bushes. Her beautiful body, now completely bare, looked timid and shriveled. The animals had had their way with her. Her life-giving breasts were bleeding profusely, and you could still see the teeth marks on her swan-like neck. I wish I didn't have to say this; I wish, she hadn't had to go through it, but the metal rod that the barbarians used was still half inside of her. Even as I tried to help her, she flinched, shrunk back, and with all the energy that was left in the poor soul, she let out the heart-wrenching cry that still echoes in my worst nightmares.

Her brother hadn't heard from her or her husband in days, so he decided to make an impromptu visit. He found her in the bedroom. She tried to act casual, begged him meet another time, but he spotted the belt marks on her back that she had carefully tried to hide behind her saree. She tried to shrug it off, and he held her hands to stop her. That's when he saw the cigarette burn marks. There was a portion of her scalp that was balded, that's where her life partner had dragged her from, as the brother would come to learn later.

Had enough, yet? Because if not, I have a million more of these. I haven't even gotten around child marriage, dowry violence, prenatal sex selection or women trafficking.


So, read. Read it again. Read it and weep. But when you're done, all I ask of you is to remember the disgust you feel right now. The shame, the rage, the guilt. Remember the intensity of what you feel.


Remember it all. So that the next time you see a strange man lean a little closer towards that lady, you step in. So that the next time you hear somebody catcall somebody's sister, you give it back to him. So that the next time you hear your best friend describe your classmate as a fine piece of hot ass, you call him out.


You can't be there for every woman on the planet, I don't expect you to. I don't even expect you to go out of your way to help that pregnant lady carry her heavy bags, though that'd be swell. What I do expect though, is that you give her, all the hers, the very basic respect that is due to them. She may be a troll, or maybe she screwed you over in front of your boss that one time, or perhaps she drank a little too much at that party - whatever the scenario, I expect you to treat her with decency, to not call her a slut, and to not shame her for the mini skirt she wore the other day.


I don't expect you to become a feminist. What I expect, is your help in creating a world where feminism is a concept of the past. A world where a little girl can accept a goddamn chocolate from a stranger.

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