Dear Aunty, We are tired. You look so loud with the red lipstick Put on a red lehenga (wedding attire), you’ve grown so much. Why do you talk to boys and get so close to them? Your brother is with you, why’re you getting scared? Pull your top up, your bra straps are showing. Pull your skirt down, your knees are showing. You come so late from office, God knows who you’re sleeping around with. And then when you get raped, you cry all over the internet. Wherever we go, a fully charged phone in the purse is a must. Even if we want to meet our friends, How can we ever forget the pepper spray? Every time we set out, we share the live location, “Thank God, today was better”, if we only got stared at once. In an auto, we’re stressed about the rear view mirror, And the unnecessary attention of the auto driver. Acute angle placement amongst our cute legs, Using our hands as a shield replacement. We’re tired of changing ourselves, Hiding from others’ eyes, We’re tired of being ‘woke’ online, And being a coward offline. We’re tired of choosing our safety, And listening to your precautions. We’re tired. 20 ways to be safe; for women 10 self defence moves you need to know; for women 5 ways to avoid trollers; for women And then there’s this one comment you make, On women. Aunty, it’s not just your fault. We understand. You were also once that girl, Who wanted to live her life in her own way. Who wasn’t judged on her high waist skirt, But was instead judged on her deep neck blouse. Who wasn’t given an article on ‘ten ways to be the perfect girlfriend’, But instead given a self-help book on ‘how to be the perfect wife to your noble husband. We’re sorry that your fight wasn’t about coming home late, But about leaving the house altogether. We’re sorry that we couldn’t ungap this generation gap. We’re sorry that you still feel that the cause of rape is the length of our clothes, We’re sorry that you only recognize our self-defense as our strength. We’re sorry that the cause of rape is not them, but us, Here, the issue is not the condition, but conditioning. We’re sorry that this has become You vs Us. Listen, let’s stop this fight, Now it’s enough. Come on, let’s sit together and have a conversation. Not on this rape comment, Let’s fight this rape culture together.