The big clock that hung against the wall ticked the hours away, as if clucking its tongue in disapproval at her barbarity; the obscene curses she chucked at anyone within earshot, the screams she spewed out like some vile, black liquid and the disarray of her limbs likened to that of a mutilated rag-doll, not in the throes of labor. And, through eyes as tightly clenched as fists, pushed, her stomach muscles wrestling with this alien yet familiar being trapped inside. It felt like pushing against a brick wall; painful, impossible. Bit by bit, feeling the mortar prying loose, the gap evolving into a cavern. And then - the head, cradled softly in the palms of the midwife, wrapped in sticky fluid. One last time, she squeezed her body, a welcome nudge, hello baby boy. The frown said it all; wrinkles unearthed from the tautness of her skin.
It rang with the finality of a gunshot, A She. The last twenty-four hours came echoing back, a fresh migraine without the antidote of good news. A tunnel without light. The Husband stepped inside, footfalls heavy with disappointment; the Mother refusing to meet his eyes, cooing softly some broken nonsense to pacify Her; Her wailing like a siren, having some glimpse of Its short lived fate; Her with her mother’s sequined eyes, and her father’s nose. It was a fragile thing; a miniscule 6 pounds of tender skin sitting on flesh that was not quite there yet. She refused to name it, even when its eyes blinked in heavy wonder, as if questioning; Who am I?
And so it remained unmarked, bound in a sterile white cloth equally as anonymous.
That night under a fully-cloaked sky, making their way through the empty streets, the hung lanterns which looked like fat, drunken faces lighting the Mother’s steps. She hugged Her loosely, while the Mother’s eyes ran up and down the road, looking for that old corner with its cozy, moss-lined recess.
Deja Vu. The same harsh breathing an uneasy staccato to the Mother’s ears, the familiar wriggling mass trying to escape Her arms. She was still, silent, filial; even when She settled her in that nest of aged newspapers, Her busy fingers eager to adjust the linen, tuck in the stray corners, anything but look into those accusing eyes. Suddenly taking off with the ground seeming to evade Her feet, bursting into a full run when the weak cry rose.
She would be Mother no more.
Each day, baby girls are chucked aside like litter. A noose fastened around their necks the second they enter a world. Their presence, a blemish. They, mere infants, have committed a mortal sin for being unable to continue the family name. Each day, women are subjected to injustice, their voices muted by an inferiority complex drilled into them.
Were I to change the world, it would be emancipated from the dogma that a He carries more weight than a She - a belief as old as the bones of the earth. This is the world I see in my mind's eye: each female born (her birth a celebration) with a solid education to arm her with knowledge and the license to live in the fullest sense of the word.
Never will one regard having double X chromosomes as a curse in my world for gender equality will reign supreme. The voice of each woman will be heard, shrill and clear. They will be able to speak out for their wants and needs that for centuries have been ignored.
No longer to be shunned by society through fingers pointed or malice whispered behind a cover of hands. Like a piece of furniture, she is labeled 'used'- her worth plummeting like the stock market the instant she was coveted. I will castrate the predators; women will pass through dark alleys without the fear of their bodies being mauled by the lust of men.
A woman's worth will be static in my world - not resting on her purity or the width of her childbearing hips. Judge them based on who they are, not by society's rules.
She will be equal in every way to our Her male counterparts.
She will be a citizen of a race that knows no prejudice.
And She will say; I am woman, I am proud.