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.”
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 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?