intersectional revolutionary journal

I. A Woman. A Pollutant.

Photo: Natalie Sheeler


By Rakshi
Red Monthly, September 2013


Hinduism labels my body taboo. Pollution.
I am not allowed in the presence of ‘divinity’
while blood flows down my legs.
Matters not that, that blood
might truly be life-giving.
Unless bound in the semen of man
to purify my existence as ‘mother’,
You will still treat me as despicable.
In those unspeakable days of the month.

Enough to bar me from cooking food.
Or ‘touch’.
Lest I pollute.

In the much hallowed days of glory
I would be locked up behind doors.
But, wait! We’ve progressed.
I do not have to bathe in the cold
washing my hair in the middle of the night.

All that I am asked, is to merely know
when not to be in the presence of ‘god’.
Surely, that’s a reasonable want for now?

I shall kid myself into telling my ‘soul’
that it is for my own good.
My uterus kicks up a pain,
so these are my days of ‘rest’.

Just that this ‘rest’
Should preferably be hidden
From civilised discourse.

So forgive me, oh ye liberal Hindus!
If I am not particularly enamoured
by this grand religion of yours.


Rakshi studied psychology to become a mind-reader. Failing that, she has settled for social psychology (curses!) and peering through labels. Intersectional-humanist. Atheist. Indian. Psychologist. Pro-trans-feminist. The wrathful bird flits between Scotland & India, tweeting @dr_wRath

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