‘We are ev­ery­thing we are and want to be’

India Today - - EXPERIENCE -

SABIKA AB­BAS NAQVI, gen­der rights Ac­tivist, delhi, 23

Iam a nasty woman. You’ve tried, witch hunted and burnt us at stake but were not able to erase our pres­ence or the fruits of our strug­gle from the pages which were writ­ten by men, of men, for men. I am so nasty that I will break the ceil­ing of caste, class, re­li­gion, and colour to shine and re­claim my body! I will pull out the hon­our you have put in­side my vagina and flush it down the fan­ci­est loo. Nasty women have writ­ten new chap­ters with ink made out of their red, sa­tanic men­strual blood. We snatched our right to be hu­mans, to vote, to dance, to study, to work, to abort, to birth, to wear, to live, to breathe—our right to be. We are nasty work­ers who will over throw your dik­tat of un­equal pay. We are dancers, singers and ac­tors who will cre­ate fig­ures on stage and oth­er­wise. We are sex work­ers who don’t need your hol­low def­i­ni­tions of hon­our. We will cre­ate an­other gen­er­a­tion of nasty peo­ple to over­take your dis­crim­i­na­tion. We will be nasty gay, trans, queer, queens and any­thing that de­fines me. In my wild­ness, I will in­vent my own iden­tity and re­alise my own self. Is it not cooler and more hu­man to be nasty than to be op­pres­sive car­ri­ers of hol­low pa­tri­archy that man­i­fests it­self in ev­ery phase of my life be­cause you think I am a lesser hu­man (or not even a hu­man)? I am nasty and am proud of it.

Pho­to­graph by bandeeP singh

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