Use Your AND, Ignore the OR – a Poem for Women (and Men)

Written by vik

Topics: Poems/Rhymes

This is rhymes on the theme of women’s liberation. Concept of poem is from Gillette Venus campaign ‘use your &’; see the video here to understand and appreciate it more. Women are seen more in terms of OR, one-dimensional labels. She can always be a good wife OR a good sportswoman and so on.  She is discouraged if she attempts to be a great wife and a great mother and a great dancer who is also a CEO and so on. Idea is that women should claim that ‘and’ and fight against the mentality of OR thinking. A woman should be seen as an empowering sum of many ANDs and not just this OR that. This post is a part of #UseYourAnd activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette Venus.


There is this ancient, mythical folklore
That women can only have the OR
They can’t be everything possible and more
They are mostly seen as a wife mopping floor!

For ages women were denied the rights
They were seen completely in this ‘OR’ light
They were sized up, labelled and their plight
Was seen as normal and very alright!

In theory they tell you to grow your wings
And assure you that you could be anything
And then they give you all straitjackets, strings
When you attempt to be so many things!

There are Rights, Justice, and Humanity
Equality, liberty, opportunity
But when you break free, it’s insanity
They defend it with Islam or Christianity.

Either be a wife OR have a vocation
Oh, how they tell you of liberation
Women, men don’t look equal creation
The OR always causes much frustration.

They’ve reserved you a subordinate place
As they read the OR charter in your face.
It’s all just double standards in your case
It’s their method to keep you out of race.

They tell you: “Decide what you want to be,
There are options!” – suggesting you are free
Yet when you want more they just disagree
And they box you up, read the OR decree!

Your roles in life are to be mutually exclusive
That choice and freedom seems so elusive
Woman of multiple personalities isn’t seen as conducive
Freedom to girls is believed to be obtrusive.

This OR is so well hammered in their mind
It affects vast masses of all mankind
Girls have their roles fully ordained, assigned
Supposed to live eternally confined.

The world is obsessed with the OR
But this is not what women are for
A mother can cook and manage a store
So it’s time to claim what ought to be yours.

The OR mentality is just a cage
Reflective of old patriarchal ways
Anyone of sense, commoner or sage
Will see a girl or boy on the same page.

OR is never your fate, OR is dated
Either-Or dichotomy keeps boundaries gated
For centuries women have just waited
Suffocating in the myth once created.

This OR has prevented possibilities
It has chained you, and killed your abilities
Freedom for nations, international treaties
No reformed mentality in villages, cities.

“You’re so beautiful. You’ll make a good wife.
Who will bake me sweet cookies all my life!”
Tell them you want things beyond kitchen, knife
They will come with the OR and threaten strife!

The wife gets an ultimatum when she pines to dance
If husband should tend home while she flies to France
They limit your life, your choices, your chance
They silence your music with their rigid stance.

This OR is deadly, it affects your life
And prevents your doing so much as a wife
Freedom is not just constitution and franchise
It’s the freedom to do things, to become more wise.
You want to break free, you are so much more
And they come up with the proverbial OR
You come up with ideas, they with iron
And half of the earth belongs to their scion.

This OR gives labels of one dimension
It’s their script for you from inception to pension
If you give in to OR and choose the mansion
You’ll be the caged bird who always lived in tension.

They box you up, they cut you to a size
They chain you, they wipe out your skies
Then they decorate you and give you poetic lies
They keep you from what you deserve as prize.

They want you in houses in just one role
They think that it is a girl’s purpose, sole
That OR defines to them your life as a whole
That you’re ‘alive and cooking’ is their dole.

Try transcending the boundary, go outta the door
They smile and show you your place with the OR
They give veiled threats that you keep to the shore
They may call you names— even bitch or whore!

They think you are good only in domestic boundary
That you cook, clean, and do the laundry
That you can’t also run offices, foundry
It’s time to see their cunning wizardry.

Nobody has a question when they enjoy the AND
But when you want the freedom, you are manned
Get out, go grab what you deserve and demand
That either-OR thinking has to disband.

‘Dude, you are always this and that
You’re a father and yet a brat!’
You always love wearing more than one hat
Yet you nix my freedom saying ‘that’s flat!’

You deserve freedom. Not one-dimensional label
You’re multi-faceted, You see you’re very able
You’re a pretty-face actor who can walk on cable
And one who can always bring something to the table.

It’s time to get free, it’s time to use your AND
Before time slips in the glass with sand
It’s time to fight, time to take a stand.
Time to love as a wife, yet play at a band.

This is twenty-first century, time to put an end
And destroy the OR and make it bend
Use your potential, you’re so much more AND
You’re Paula Radcliffe and also Ayn Rand.

There are opportunities galore
And there are shackles named ‘OR’
Don’t get boxed, it’s time to deplore
Be whatever you want, get out, Explore.

Let all know what you stand for
Let all know what’s that AND for
Call it a day, the days of yore
You’re a wife AND love the dance floor!

AND is freedom. AND is your voice and respect
AND is the Right, the choice you naturally expect
When a lawyer-mother-social worker becomes a suspect
Then junk those past perfect and resurrect.

AND is you. It’s your personality
The world tells you it’s venality
Shout at them it’s pure rationality
And it’s originality AND individuality.

Enough is enough. Let all hear the AND
It’s over now, you’re not anymore canned
Please, go over to the beach and get tanned
And walk in freedom totally unmanned.

Then go to your office, or your hospital
Move forward, run, destroy the obstacle
Blow to smithereens, theological shackles
And make all gains astronomical, economical.

You are biological AND social
You are unstoppable AND special
You’re a mother who is also archaeological
You’re brave, free AND quite methodical.

The world may eff off with their either-OR;
You are AND and you now leave the shore

Let the journey begin, you deserve more
You’ll do metallurgy with domestic chore.

Fear not, they will raise a hue and cry
That’s their design to curb freedom thy
Stick to your AND, look high at the sky

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