Are You Even A Man?

March 06, 2020

The Nirbhaya case shook the world in December 2012. Even though a certain amount of justice prevailed with the accused being given the death penalty, the reality for women in India is one that continues to remain fraught with danger. With the world celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8, we thought publishing this poem was an apt choice. Written by a young girl studying in the eighth grade, the poem is a collective cry of all the questions in the minds of girls across India – the ones who are forced to think twice and thrice about every choice they make. The poet directs these questions towards the men who consider themselves far superior to women and demands their response.

Does it bring you any happiness that I’m crying my red, sore eyes out because of the grief that you have brought upon me?
Do you feel on top of your world after you have mercilessly destroyed mine?
Do you feel proud calling yourself a man, when you ignore the several women calling out for your help?
Does it bring you any pleasure, that my pained soul is breaking into fragments?
Does my sheer misery bring you utter satisfaction?
If yes, you don’t deserve to be called a man.

Don’t you feel ashamed treating me as if I’m just a body, not another soul?
Are you not able to understand the basic principles of co-existence in nature?
Can you not hear the cries of the billions of Nirbhayas?
Is your conscience not able to comprehend the simple fact that your one action can uproot and destroy numerous lives?
Doesn’t it puncture your little manly ego, that you consider someone else’s destruction as your victory?
If not, you don’t be deserved to be called a man.

Speak up, Ye mighty men of my country!
Speak up, we’re all ears.

Simran Aneja

Simran Aneja

Simran Aneja is based out of Noida, Uttar Pradesh. She is currently studying in the eighth grade at Mayo College Girls' School, Ajmer. She enjoys writing poems and short stories. A few of her other hobbies include singing, reading and dancing.

You can read her poems here