If You Are A Woman Waiting To Break Shackles, These 5 Poems By Priya Malik Are For You

post image

Priya Malik poems: Priya Malik is known for her soulful poetry that women can relate to on a personal scale. She possesses the skill to uplift and empower us by letting our thoughts resonate with hers. Her poems raise important questions regarding the atrocities women face. Malik’s words compel us to look at the world and its norms from a unique angle.

Here are five Priya Malik poems for all women hoping to break free from stereotypes

1. Vagina Dialogues

Vagina Dialogues brings out the horrors of rape and sexual assault that women in India are subjected to. It also tells how women are Though we celebrate International Women’s Day every year, the irony is we still offer women products to “safeguard” their bodies against perpetrators. In this poem Malik conveys how victim blaming is prevalent and women safety is a distant  dream in our country.

In the poem she says, “Yes, I am asking for it. I am asking because my vagina no longer needs a monologue, it demands a dialogue. A dialogue that is guided by my needs, my choices and my desires that may be left because my hymen is not a treasure garden to be safeguarded from theft” highlighting the importance of mutual pleasure and consent.

2. Right to Learn

Right To Learn is Priya Malik’s personal story of fighting for education. She tells the audience that she came from a family that did not have enough money. But her mother ensured that her daughters get a ‘good education’ despite all hardships. Through this poem, the poet expresses that education should not be a ‘privilege’ but a right. She also highlights that in our so called developed country, ‘save your daughters, educate your daughters’ is one of the most popular slogans. But saving and educating should never have to be a part of the same sentence.

“We can no longer plead for our right to live and then demand our right to education. Instead, we demand for the need to educate, our sons, our daughters, our children and firstly, our so called leaders of the nation,” says Malik.

3. Art Has No Gender

Just like all other Priya Malik poems, Art Has No Gender questions the disparity of genders. The poet refers to a metaphorical wall in front of a library that reads, “Art has no gender but artists do”. She says that female artists are still considered more female and less artists. Women who choose art as their profession are just as much artists as men. The only difference is men never get questioned about their gender when discussing their profession.

Malik brings in the examples of the Bronte sisters who wrote novels under male pseudonym because their writings weren’t what we consider “feminine”. She also brings in the examples of Amrita Pritam, Arundhati Roy and a bunch of other successful women who raised the bar for the future generations with their work. It was for their contribution that they hold a position of fame and power.

She concludes the poem with the lines, “I take down that wall, I crack it open, I scatter and smash those bricks like they’re prejudices just waiting to be broken. I scream and yell with the same enthusiasm as Madam Curie must’ve had when she discovered radium. So that I can stand in front of all of you in the stadium and tell you for once and for all that art has no gender and neither do artists”.

4. Right To Pleasure

Right to Pleasure is one of those Priya Malik poems that breaks down the stereotypical image of a woman and her sexuality. In this poem, she explains the meanings of basic terms such as ‘choice’, ‘consent’ and ‘pleasure’. She further tells why it is important to take these into consideration when involved in an act of sexual intimacy. Malik also gives an insight into the horrific female genital mutilation where the clitoris, the vulva and the labia are removed. The ovaries, however, are kept intact. This prevents women from experiencing pleasure during intercourse and they are reduced to mere child bearing machines.

Addressing the women, Malik says, “Dear women, did you know that you’re not just a machine to produce children. Not just a body to stay still while he fucks you. You are not a slut just because you know your body. You should know what pleases you but you are not there to plead”.

For the men, she says, “Dear men, ask us about our choices. Ask us for our consent. Ask us about our clitoris and our collarbones. And before you even try to touch us, ask us how we touch ourselves”.

5. When I Say I am Divorced

The last in the list of Priya Malik poems comes, When I Say I am Divorced. This poem is dedicated to everyone who say “they’re sorry” on hearing of a woman’s divorce. The poet makes it clear that one must not feel sorry on learning about a woman’s separation from her spouse, because it is only unhappy marriages that come to an end, not the happy ones. The term “sorry” should be used to express grief and there’s no grief for a woman who escaped a toxic marriage.

She ends the poem with the lines, “Don’t be sorry because seeing them happy when apart is breaking your own goddamn bubble. Don’t be sorry the next time someone tells you that they’re divorced. Tell them that they’re brave to collect their remains from a grave that wasn’t dug up for them at the first place. Tell them that they’re breathing. Nobody is dying anymore, the mortuary is closed. Their radial nerve is still pulsating. Normalise divorce and be sorry for feeling sorry”.


Share This: