Sitting in your privileged cocoon,
Across the internet
Letting your privileged protective bubble grow
Telling me that my micro aggressions won’t change a thing
Do you even know what that word means?
Micro agressions are the knicks and cuts
That I get on my skin
Because patriarchy deemed only a girl who can
shave with the precision of a gymnast everyday
Matches the euro centric standards of beauty that
You have accepted and redeemed.
Micro aggressions are the wounds
That women get on their feet
Because a powerful woman
Is only one in high heels, right?
Micro aggressions are the wounds
Women get on their feet
Because a useful woman/wife/mother/sister/child
Is one who can travel ten thousand steps or more
To fetch water for the fam
Because the definition of domestic labour is so deep rooted
It threatens masculinities of all kinds
If you were to walk those same miles,
Or collaborate on a solution
That did not normalise this tradition.
Micro aggressions are the sounds
That you hear when a girl
Who has just pretended to enjoy a meal
Compulsively rushes to the school washroom to throw it up
Because your precious patriarchy has deemed that to be a 10 for you
she has to be 4 or below and right now she’s a 6
Micro aggression is the pain a woman feels when she bears one of our own
without the medication
That modern medicine can provide and yet denies her because
men sitting in comfortable seats leading comfortable lives
Old men often out of touch with reality
but in touch with money, power and privilege,
In parliaments and stately court houses of the world don’t think
it is an important enough policy.
Micro aggressions are sounds of gates and doors being locked up
for women much earlier
Than they are for you boy, so every time I desire to step out
into the evening sun
I feel like a criminal while you can bother, molest,
even rape women who have dared to
Claim the night just as much as you.
Micro aggression is every time you attempt to violate my spaces.
Hey boy, micro aggressions are every time I say no and you think
It’s a yes, and when I say yes so you think I am easy
and I will always say yes and
My no has no value.
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.
Do you hear the sound of these micro aggressions
Clamoring in my life?
Do you hear the sound of micro aggressions that I must endure
Every time I even make a decision?
You think linking arms with my sisters and allies over the internet
In a way that may ask you to come down from the pedestal
You have become so used to you don’t see it anymore
Is micro aggression?
Hey boy, do you know when life itself is an aggression full of these
Unpleasant sounds and wounds and sights
That you and patriarchy have decided to mute out of your lives
Are fighting hard to further mute
We’ll keep up this protest, this fight.
I wrote this piece because my first level of fight in dismantling patriarchy- and the fight for a lot of people in the same- is the internet. Yet, we have a lot of people who tell us that hey, don’t make everything a gendered issue. This is the most common refrain I have heard- “why is everything a women’s issue for you?” from the same people who say- “I apologise from my gender “, when something tragic happens. Stop apologising and stop clamping yourself and others down. Think about the problem. Think about why we feel the need to have these micro-aggressions and think about the aggressions you cause on a daily basis. How can you change that? Start a dialogue. The personal is political. I am reclaiming the word “micro-aggression”.