Academic journal article Theory in Action

When the Poor Woman 'Leans In'

Academic journal article Theory in Action

When the Poor Woman 'Leans In'

Article excerpt

Where does the poor woman 'lean in'

When she is living

In a 12ft x 12ft shack

Built with mud walls

In an over crowded

'Illegal' dwelling colony

Where in order for her to

Step outside her home

She has to leap across the

Stagnant water that has been

Sitting there for months

Contaminated with

Industrial waste

Carrying urine, feces and dirt

Ready with malaria, dengue

Among others, as its gifts

That it wants to give,

To those with whom

It co-exists,

The slum dwellers,

On their birthdays,

Provided, they are lucky enough,

To survive,

Till then.

With all this, then

Where is the space for

The poor woman to lean in?

When the poor woman leans in

It is to plough the land, sow the seeds

To weed and harvest the crops

To slavishly work

As a landless,

Bonded labourer

In the fields owned by the

Upper caste, upper class

Feudal lords, continuing

The generational cycle

Of violence and injustice.

When the poor woman leans in

It is to dip the mop into the pail

To swab the floor

In a squatting position

As a maid

While the owner of the house

Orders her to

Lean in

Some more

To bend down

Some more

To not be 'lazy'

To not miss spots

Acting like a boss

Asks her to clean properly

By signaling

There. …

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