This Student Gave A Powerful Speech About The Harassment And Sexism Women Face Everyday
"The first boy who held my hand told me boys don't want to hear about vaginas bleeding. Vaginas are only meant to be fucked."
Aranya Johar is an 18-year-old student from Mumbai, India.
She recently gave a powerful spoken word performance titled "A Brown Girl's Guide To Gender," which has been widely viewed and shared on Facebook this week.
In her performance, Johar begins by telling an anecdote about her first encounter with misogyny.
And how women are silenced and "boiled down to sexual interaction."
She then talks about the measures Indian girls and women are expected to take so that they don't become "another of India's daughters."
Because anything else would be deemed as more than just "wanting it," but actually "risking it."
Johar told BuzzFeed News the video was the first time she performed her poem, and that she had written it less than week before the event.
Johar said it came about after bonding with her friends over their experiences with assault and harassment and following the Nirbhaya rape case and the story of Laxmi, an acid attack victim.
"They were both so unfortunate and yet so real," Johar said. "It could happen to anyone."
Johar said she was surprised to hear from women all over the world, because she thought the problems she mentioned would not resonate as deeply as they do in India.
"We are bonding all over borders, but over such unfortunate things," she said.
Her poem has resonated with a lot of people.
She said that while a few men felt her poem was exaggerated, other men have reached out to ask how they could help and that it was cool to see other people defending her.
"There was never a comment thread where I had to justify myself, because other people were doing it for me," she added.