When A Woman Laughs

renuka chowdhury

There are hundreds of ways to silence a woman
stare her down if she happens to laugh out loud
in public space especially in the presence of men
where she should be whispering at side lines
make your dismay quite apparent
if it fails to mortify her
try growling under your breath in a threatening way
tell her in no uncertain terms that it is highly unfeminine
rebuke her for her unruly behaviour
show your outrage by labeling her bad, wicked, vamp
(Take your pick out of endless possibilities)
ask her if she is unwell and needs a doctor
scoff at her in most derisive terms
cite scriptures, if possible, to put her down
failing that, mention decades old tele-serial to jeer at her
remind her how Ram and Laxman helped rishis and munis
clear forests with their mastery over bows and arrows
and how lucky she is that India has changed
where laughing is now controlled by mere insults
quote your great grandmother prophesying
fall of the house where loud laughter of women resonate
take a handkerchief and stuff it in her mouth
encourage her to wrap herself in tiny bundle
that occupies no extra space,
seen perhaps but not heard
better still, she should merge into furniture
or disappear into kitchen
never to be heard again
for nothing sends patriarchy scuttling
under covers of propriety
faster than rambunctious peals of laughter
emanating from rubicund lips

Nalini Priyadarshni has been writing poetry and other stuff for almost a decade and published worldwide in literary magazines and journals. Her eclectic tastes reflect in her poems widely anthologized and collected in Doppelganger in My House and Lines Across Oceans which she co-authored with late D. Russel Micnhimer. She was nominated for The Best of the Net 2017.

Tags:

Support Countercurrents

Countercurrents is answerable only to our readers. Support honest journalism because we have no PLANET B.
Become a Patron at Patreon

Join Our Newsletter

GET COUNTERCURRENTS DAILY NEWSLETTER STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX

Join our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Get CounterCurrents updates on our WhatsApp and Telegram Channels

Related Posts

A Resolve So Bold, A Cause So Pure

Sons and daughters in faraway lands, give promise to justice, a resolve so bold,White, black, and brown speak to power, in defiance, their unity refuses to fold, Then, there are…

Operation Rainbow Wash

It seems inconceivable, I know,but it happened, it's happening now.No one can say how it beganor where or with whom.But once it began, it spreadlike an airborne virusor an inextinguishable…

A Call To Prayer

come to me hereyour eyes widelike the bride of morning i have pitched my tabernacle tentneither near nor faron the routes of passage where dust of travelersfills my nostrilsand the…

The Angels of Gaza

(Based on true and almost true events) the weeping is an immense angel,the weeping is an immense violin,the tears muzzle the wind,nothing else is heard but the weeping. From "Casida…

Lament

For the sake of Godhe saidhis voice in tremor. For sake of the Earth and moon.For wind over trees.For the sake of mirror-wateron a moonlit lake. He shaped his heartinto…

Join Our Newsletter


Annual Subscription

Join Countercurrents Annual Fund Raising Campaign and help us

Latest News