In my world, that’s a taboo word. It doesn’t matter if you’re married or not. You just don’t throw that word around. You whisper softly to ears that will judge. You blush when asked if it hurt that first wedding night. “You’ll be treated like a whore if you say that word aloud,” my parents taught me.
I was 16 in a high school half way across the world. My only friend there said, “Oh my God. It was all about sex.” I looked around panicking. “Our Dean is here. Shh..” She stared at me like I had lost my mind. “So what? He’s married. He knows what sex is about.” Yet again, a word I wasn’t allowed to say was spoken for everyone else to hear.
It’s the only way to grab a man’s attention I was told. It’s what a man wants from a woman. Dress carefully. Dress decently. Don’t let them see things you should show to only one man. Don’t utter words that aren’t meant for the one you’ll marry. Walk with your head down. Don’t giggle too loud. He’ll hear you. He’ll notice you. He’ll want you. And when he does.. “I can’t explain, darling.”
“It’s nothing but an insignificant part of life. Lying naked next to a man is not what matters. It’s disgusting. How can you crave another body? How can you express a need that cannot exist? How can you want something you shouldn’t be talking about?”
It’s what he saw in her. In that decently dressed girl who never spoke above a whisper. That girl who hid her beauty behind a mask of silent laughter and tied up hair. It’s what he needed from her until she was nothing but a ball of mess in a corner for anyone to see. Her mother’s words lost in ears that were filled with her own screams.
All those lessons die within. When you learn from the world that sex isn’t sin. Because mother, there’s only one definition..
Sex is only sex when we’re both in it together. Everything else is just rape.
So don’t teach me not to utter words that are meant to create. Don’t tell me to hide who I am for a man who has no control of himself. Don’t taunt me when I dare say the words you’ll never approve of. The day you talk to me about it like it’s a mistake, you’ve enabled another man to believe it’s his birthright.
It’s not what she had. She was raped. Don’t use her as a lesson. Don’t abuse what she’s been through for me to learn something that’s not true.
Teach me it’s okay to want another person. Tell me it’s okay to love a man, not just emotionally, but also physically. Taunt me when I ask you if I should let him do what he wants even if it’s not what I want.
I’ll say it out loud for the world to read. Because it’s not a mistake. It’s not a crime, mother. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.
26 thoughts on “(Not) A Mistake”
This was really powerful.
Thank you 🙂
Great post Poornima. Respect!
Thank you so much Kavi. 😀
Like usual, a fantastic, well-written and thought provoking article. I especially am impressed with the maturity of this piece. I think it should be read by parents and children alike.
Thank you so much 😀 Thank you for motivating me with words and actions.. I must admit, your post and nomination re-ignited a spark that dulls when the real world catches up. Thank you again 😀
Thank you 🙂
The day you talk to me about it like it’s a mistake, you’ve enabled another man to believe it’s his birthright.// Awesome choice of words.
Thank you so much for the kind words 😀
I love love!!!
Thank you so much 😀
A very bold post! We need this voice to echo. I appreciate the power that you have hurled to many other submissive females.
Thank you 🙂
Talk about words slapping you across the face with their power! Wow, this is an incredible job. I continue to be amazed by your writing Poornima.
You continue to flatter me. Thank you for always giving me kind words 🙂 You don’t know how much I appreciate it. 😀
I’m glad to give kind words when they are really warranted. Like I told you awhile ago-you really are a writer, plain and simple. Whereas I write for fun, finding connections between my photos and music, I don’t really consider myself a writer. I have gotten better at it, I will admit, and I can see a time when I might go beyond blogging (I’m starting a music related research project I have contemplated for years that could turn into a book someday), but for now I am content saying I write a blog. You are very different my friend. Very impressive.
PS, how are things in Chennai now?
Thank you 😀 I wish I had a better word than thank you 🙂 That sounds interesting. I was actually reading through your recent post on vinyl records. I have a fascination with anything vintage and have been dying to get my hands on one >.< Unfortunately, everything's either too expensive or unavailable in this part of the world.
Chennai has bounced back so amazingly well you almost wouldn't believe we were struck with a natural disaster 60 days ago. For every person that fell, there were three pairs of hands helping them rise again. We're going to be fine. 🙂
Thank you is just fine, no worries! The vinyl can be expensive here too but you can find old records that are sometimes in good condition. I like vintage things too generally. I almost feel like older things are inherently more tactile than contemporary items. And I’m so happy to hear about Chennai. That is a wonderful thing to hear in this harsh world of ours. Continue to look forward to reading so much more from you 🙂
wow, clever words and the right way to explain the word…. your ideas are awesomeee.
This spoke to me. Growing up in a place where people are a bit sensitive can get very…difficult. The way you wrote it is just powerful. 🙂
Bloody hell. I wonder what would happen if everyone, man or woman thinks like this. The world would not be a different place.
Sex. Say it a million times, its your voice. It’s your body and no one has any right on it other than yo
Brilliant post !
Wow. This is an incredible post!
Thought-provoking. I love it. The way you pulled apart a very common closed-minded belief (that sex is sin) and took away its power by pointing out that fear only teaches fear. I particularly loved the line about birthright. I feel like this is true in various aspects of life where one person is afraid to “step on toes”, there’s someone right around the corner that believes it’s their responsibility to step on toes.
Great post! It was really honest, bold and well-written. It can be really difficult to talk and think about these topics when your environment makes it a taboo, but you did it anyways and came to (what I believe healthy) outlook. Keep writing! 🙂