Women in Folktales, History, Myths

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When the world first had life 

running through its deepest sinews, 

a man and a woman had sinned.

Somewhere amid the heavy trees, luscious fruits, magnificent gardens and divine blessings, 

Adam and Eve had

disobeyed the supreme God,

lent four of their ears to the manipulative whispers of satan


to this very day,

Eve holds the blame for the 

condemnation of all mankind on earth,

far, far away from the luxury of heaven.

Thus commenced a long journey

of women facing the brunt of blame making their way to

a fragile identity.

When the end of the epoch was 

approaching with its wolfish omens,

a massive bloodshed flooded

the mighty rivers of Kurukshetra. 

Men of all clan had to bear arms, drove metal

through their enemies chests’,

defining war for all ages to come.

Yet the uncontrolled Draupadi bears the burden

of the holy-unholy carnage of the beloved Kshtriya flesh.  

The same angry woman that had saved the 

Pandavas from the fate of slavery and utter ridicule. 

Her perplexing question, that quaked the greatest learned men of her day to the core, 

remains unanswered to this day. 

Did she deserve to be the idol on earth?

A juxtaposition as the sky is to the earth,

a silent obedient wife who traces her steps in the footprints of her husband, without question, 

free of ill thought, vengeance and the sentiment of resentment. 

Sita is the prime example of an epitomised ideal wife. 

Is that why she had been a subject of devotion and

the fierce Krishna, a mere woman with furrowed brows?

Arguably, the flawed is the human

and superhuman flawlessness is the human’s master.

The woman of the most exquisite beauty,

with skin as smooth as pearl and porcelain.

Helen of Troy

labelled a trophy for men to win and take home

and be exhibitioned for her conqueror’s masculinity. 

She was the catalyst

whose body stretched the Trojan war

for decades on end, filling canyons with blood and dread. 

But her own dread unacknowledged, her freedom had been stripped off.

She became the blame which she was forced into. 

Another driving force of womankind’s chance for survival is

the ideal of chastity.

It aids the woman with the power

of moving and destroying the world at hand.

It is chastity, above all, 

for which a woman can be seen, recognised, appreciated, loved.

The testimony of it lies,

in the deification of Kannagi.

The woman must be untouched and chaste,

but beautiful enough for the male gaze. 

Did the agency of Shakuntala still 

remain unobstructed

outside the paradigm of her beauty?

Objectified women are always the

cause of conflict and downfall

in history from the beginning to the end.

Aphrodite, Hera, Eve, Draupadi, Helen, tongueless philomela

and even Sita.

Pandora, the first woman,

opened a case of disaster 

and unleashed hell,

her will was not enough, her will was not her own. She was a troublemaker.

Time immemorial witnessed

horrid castigations.

Fault lies in her sexuality, endurance belongs to her 

and her mirrored identity.

It is in these tales, myths, histories, whatever you desire to call it,

merges the struggle of all womankind

into one,

one of subjugation and resistance,

of liberation.

Of revolution

One and beyond.

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Amna Mannan

Amna is a citizen of India and a resident of New Delhi. She’s also a literature student who enjoys reading and writing. She writes about social, political and gender issues as well as general topics. She is a Blahcksheep because she believes in uplifting the doubly marginalised and creating a safe space for intersectional feminism to thrive!


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