A Note on Women’s Day

International Working Women’s Day,

The calendars are marked, the protests are invoked.

For the women who demand more than the scraps they got. 

But I am not a “worker.”

I am,

too inexperienced to get a job at that “feminist” publishing house I want,

too much of a dropout to have credentials that match the potential.

Too upper-caste to be accepted as one of their “own”.

Too emotional to have a work ethic,

too untrustworthy to show on time, six days a week.

Too morose to be a wholesome candidate,

for an opening that doesn’t want me in my honest state.

Never mind that loneliness doesn’t discriminate.

I am told women are breaking glass ceilings, while I am still struggling,

To turn in my purpose.

I carry this shame for not earning,

not enough to have it validate my questioning.

See, self-reliance is the hallmark of an independent woman.

I am told how lying in a room doesn’t make for one.

Even as the anxieties are crippling, the depression isn’t taken seriously.

Your class supposedly defines how depressed you can be.

A “privileged” woman loses some right to that coveted identity.

My history prohibits me from crying too frequently.

Because I have been given too much,

yet no-one can explain the lack at every turn.

I have been told I am weak.

For the dependence I can’t shake off, for this bed, for my mother,

for that elusive lover.

I have been told nobody talks to me,

because I am the loafer who doesn’t earn a penny.

I have been told I am lazy,

because I don’t actively look for jobs to “heal” my insanity.

I have been told the solution to depression is a job,

because I would be too occupied in a routine to find the time to sob.

I have been told to forget about others’ pain and focus on mine.

Because I have to “fix” my idleness in time.

I have been told by these well-intentioned crusaders,

that those who can’t help themselves are unqualified to help “others”

I have been told I should put on weight, look like a “woman”

Because my bones hurt the soft flesh of that man,

I hug.

I have stopped craving them, as a result.

Too many labels that don’t do justice to my position,

but I am too incompetent to ask for a kind reconsideration.

I am too much of this, and too less of that,

This women’s day, can you cut me some slack?

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