Feminsim,labels, choice

I was earmarked a cookbook of femininity
by the guardians of society.

Recipe 1 : Stance
Stand like a lady and walk with grace.
Don’t be clumsy and don’t gulp your food.

Recipe 2: Voice
Don’t talk too loudly. Don’t laugh too loudly.
Don’t ask too many questions. Be a listener.

Recipe 3: Endurance
Swallow your disagreement & chew your
anger. They aren’t ladylike traits.

Recipe 4: Fragility
Don’t train your body too much. Muscular
girls look masculine. Be fragile.

Recipe 5: Invisibility
Don’t wear short clothes, it is provocative.
Don’t go out post sunset.
You must not outshine else you will noticed & perhaps attacked.

Recipe 6: Motherhood.
A woman’s existence is validated the day
she wombs a child. It’s a caterpillar transformation. It wings a woman.

So I carried the cookbook in my
pocket as if my code of conduct
was a universal agenda.
I cooked those delicacies with great detail
but it was never tasteful.
I thought maybe it’s an acquired taste.
So over the years I tried again & again
to no avail;
My taste buds grew resilient & that resilience was flavoursome;
I knew instantly,
that my femininity was nobody else’s
I can be clumsy, messy, loud, grumpy,
opinionated if I want to;
It was my life & I get to be the the chef
to all the recipes I cook.

-Disha Tripathi

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