This article contains themes about sexual assault mentions, rape mention, casual racism, which may be difficult to read or triggering to some readers. Readers in need can seek support from the following services or visit our Creating a Safe Space page to see a full list of support services.
Words by Geetanjali, 23 ACT
I wait to be interrupted in every sentence I dare speak
To be told “well, actually” is like a nightmare coming to life for me
Laugh at me for my girly films, my ‘chick flicks’, give me that derisive snort
How boring you must be, how sad, how dull to not want to actually enjoy things that aren’t just catered to you and your made-up masculinity
Make fun of me for being too frivolous, too feminine, too depressing, too wily, and too independent
Make fun of me for everything I do, it’s so easy to mock me
It’s so easy to turn my sadness, my pain, my past, present, and future into a perfectly packaged punch line for you with a bow tied on top
‘A boy’s girl’, ‘not like the others’, ‘daddy issues.’
Compare me. Dissect me.
Now it’s my turn,
Show me something besides internalising your emotions into bleak nothing
Instead, you punch your fists bloody into walls or each other’s faces
Don’t worry, I have internalised my anger, too
I know bleakness. I know hopelessness.
But not anymore
Now… Now I am like you.
No. Not like you. Because of you
You. You fucking murder us, you kill us, you rape us
And how dare a woman show anger
How dare I be anything but docile and beautiful
How dare I feel angry, and, scared
How dare I want to write about Hannah Clarke, and Qi Yu and Eurydice Dixon, and the next one and the next one and-
One woman every fucking week dies due to a former partner.
Do you think about that a lot? Are you scared that you could be next?
I am. I fucking am.
How dare I write my emotions and not just search flowery synonyms for every word
How dare my writing not be tangible and chewable for you
How dare my writing not be artistic and poetic
How dare I not enjoy your Bukowski, King and Tarantino
I must be stupid; I must not understand them.
It’s not interesting to me to see women being destroyed in so many different, creative, and disturbing ways.
I don’t enjoy seeing myself, or my friends, or the girls I know (all the versions of us) being abused on TV
I know all the women you show us.
They’re not fiction. I know them all.
I’ve seen them, I’ve spoken to them, I’ve held their hands, and their hair back.
I’ve heard them cry.
When you rape, murder, torture, and kill us on TV and in books for ‘entertainment’
You are no longer showing creativity
You are showing a world I am very aware of
A world I live and survive in every single day
But it’s still about you, it’s constantly about you, it will always be about you
How can we cater to you? How can we make this easier for you?
You’ll walk around with your chest puffed out, and say “Nobody can take a joke anymore!“
Being politically correct is so boring and annoying and stupid and who really cares? Who cares?
Let’s sing the national anthem and drink out of our shoe on what you call “Australia Day”
But you feel uncomfortable acknowledging that this earth, this ground, this country isn’t ours and never was, never will be
I’m sorry you’d rather throw a tantrum than say ‘they’ instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’
I’m sorry you’re apathetic.
I’m sorry that caring for others is the worst thing you can do in this world.
I’m sorry you have spent your time caring less.
Well, me? I am fighting for more
I am fighting for you to listen to me, and her, and us
I am angry because I have spent so much time not being angry
I have spent so much time being the good Indian daughter, picking up your dirty plates, and perfecting the round chapatti
I have spent so much time being the girl you want me to be:
Cool girl, fun girl, sexy girl, boyish girl.
And when I’m angry or sad, it’s reduced to “whoa, calm down”, and “Is it that time of the month?”
I am years and generations of gritted teeth, and clenched jaws,
I am anger. I am screaming
I am not your pretty little girl.
I am not your silent, compliant woman.
I am angry.
I am, I am, I am.
And I will be heard.