in case you’re ever raped on a bus

Purse your pretty brown lips and speak not a word of it,
it’s improper, you’ve already been shamed enough,
save your family’s reputation by marrying the rapist,
live in domestic bliss

you’d be lucky if it was a gang rape,
then you have a selection of men to choose from
you could marry the one with the fairest skin,
so your children could be pretty,
you could marry the one with the house and car,
these luxuries will make you forget, the money
will make it all better,
you could marry the one with the degree—
who knows? maybe there’s a doctor in the mix,
wow, how fortunate!
you wouldn’t have had a chance with a doctor
if it wasn’t for the rod through your body,

or you can marry the man who did nothing
but simply watch you break
while the rod was shoved in,
I mean, you don’t want to marry the one who did it himself—
recollecting that image in bed later on
would destroy the intimacy between you two!

you don’t want to marry any of them?
why, you stupid woman?!
what will you do after this?!
who will marry you?!
we’re trying to salvage this situation!
the men? oh, we arrested them.

die in Singapore, then,
or swallow some poison
and save us all from this debacle,
who feels like dealing with this, anyway?
we’re just trying to save you, stupid woman.


Two women (aged 17 and 23) were gang raped within the past week in New Delhi. These were two separate incidents. One passed away from the unbelievably horrid injuries, the other committed suicide after being pressured into marrying one of the rapists. May these two women forever rest in peace. May no woman ever, ever experience what they were forced to endure. May any sexually abused woman from any corner of the world, live or rest in peace. Our hearts are with you and your families. There will be change, I know it.


naira badawi

532 notes
tagged as: poetryrapesexual abusenew delhiindiaDamini

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