How to be a woman? – Megha Sood

There are rules to be followed
guidelines to be remembered
regulations to be followed
to the T.

before I can call myself a woman
a lady like appearance–
an ever-present grin on my face
smiling from ear to ear,
just to ease you into the life
as you please.

I should bow down in obedience
should never raise my voice
walk with the stoop of discipline
and eat with your hand.
With the freedom, you have handed me on the plate
Like I was the chosen one, you see

Oh! that skirt is a little shorter than we expected
see it clearly fails to keep those lurking demon
inside their skin.
Now, you have shown them
too much flesh
now they will come out
will rip you into shreds
and devour your soul from within.

“I told you” they will say
keep your voice down
the patriarchy can’t handle you pitch
they are tone-deaf to your songs of freedom
every war cry of yours
is not more than a mere screech

Give in to the fear of those jackals
those protectors lurking in the dark
they are the guardians,
the unabashed kings
of this society.

So next time the world tries to
teach me how to be a women
/an epitome of grace and elegance/
they should come and witness the scars
I bore on my body.

and the glow I carry
which can put their
thousand suns to shame
a sight their shameful eyes
can’t bear to see.

Megha Sood lives in Jersey City, New Jersey. She is a contributing member at Free Verse Revolution, Heretics, Lovers and Madmen, Sudden Denouement, Whisper and the Roar, GoDogGoCafe and Poetry editor at Ariel Chart. Over 300+ works in journals including Better than Starbucks, FIVE:2: ONE, KOAN, Kissing Dynamite, Mojave Heart Review, Adelaide, Foliate Oak. Visitant Lit, Quail Bell, Dime show review, etc. and works featured/upcoming in 20 other print anthologies by the US, Australian, and Canadian Press. Two-time State-level winner of the NAMI ( National Alliance on Mental Illness) NJ Poetry Contest 2018/2019.National level poetry finalist in Poetry Matters Prize 2019. Poetry selected multiple times for Genre Night reading by Jersey City Writers group and events sponsored by the Department of Cultural Affairs. She blogs at and tweets at @meghasood16.

Infinite – Saarah Choudhury

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Women and men are infinite, unlimited, and forever expanding. But yes, the unimaginative and disconnected being will always keep on trying to narrow everything down to its own mirror image.

Poet. World traveller. Moved from England to Cambodia. Might stay there. Not sure.

You can read more of Saarah’s writing at eastwest_nomad 

Featured Post: How To Be A Woman– Georgiann Carlson

every brand new female is unique
and ready to grow into a perfect woman
in a world waiting to destroy her
piece by piece
bit by bit
day by day

the minute her gender becomes known
doors start slamming
one by one

then the rules are explained

you will be brainwashed into believing that motherhood is the ultimate goal in your life
which will make you less of a threat to the status quo and keep you out of the way and

rely on your looks
and remember
you can always sell your body to survive
there are buyers everywhere
you will walk around half naked in shoes that slow you down and make you fall
while men will be fully clothed and wear shoes that allow them to RUN…after you

nothing is yours
you should be grateful for what you are GIVEN
for what males ALLOW you to have
for as long as they ALLOW you to have it

your body belongs to others
no laws will protect you
because you have no voice in what the laws say

you will be hunted
you will be controlled through violence
and poverty

do as you’re told
but don’t think that your obedience will protect you
grow soldiers for the state
inside your body
your children are simply fodder for the machine

speak softly
carry no sticks
don’t have opinions
don’t have ideas
don’t wish for things you can’t have

make excuses for the way things are
close your eyes and look away
pretend that none of the above has anything to do with YOU
that’s how to be a woman
in a male dominated
women hating society

Fortunately, a lot of women are like cats and do whatever the hell they want.

I’m an artist, a writer, a vegetarian, an animal rights activist, and quite a few other things as well. I love books, cats, philosophy, good conversation, Chicago and the arts. So my blog is full of bits and pieces but it’s the bits and pieces that make life interesting to me. You can read more of my writing at Rethinking Life

Beyond The Hype – Padre

Aunt Elsa tossed the copy of Vogue onto the coffee table shaking her head dismissively.

“It just isn’t right,” she observed.

“Excuse me, what’s not right?” I asked.

“These highfalutin magazines, with the sickly skinny models tell’n us how we should look.  That one on the cover there, eyelashes up to her eyebrows and a mascara line almost to her ears.  It ain’t natural, and God help ’em if they get caught in a rainstorm, or did any real work and got sweaty, their man wou’n’t even recognise them,” Elsa ranted.

“That’s a little harsh, don’t you think?” I challenged.

“You think?” she continued. “Take them there Kardashians, and the like.  It’s all false like those magazine eyelashes.  And they think they have all the answers on how to be a woman.  It ain’t the make-up or the “love” advice.  You are born to it or you ain’t.  Take me, ain’t I a woman?  And nobody ever had to tell me how to do it.”

With that she stood and adjusted the shoulder strap on her overalls and slid on her rubber boots.  “Better be gett’n back to the afternoon milking,” she said.  “But thank you for the coffee.”

I am Padre of Padre’s Ramblings. In my life’s journey I have been a preacher, teacher, and served in the Forces. I am also an ecclesiastical historian, and theologian. I am married to my soulmate and am a father and grandfather. All have given me insights to things spiritual, and of things human. I am a public speaker as well, and have recently taken to writing poetry and short stories.

Featured Post: How To Be A Woman – Tamara Fricke

Filthy backbones
bent to tasks
thick stubbed fingers
could never finesse
we are now presumed
apart of the baseboards
and are stronger for
daily wear.

The only sugared spices
left are used to hide
the stench of rotted meats
left too long in the larder
festering under the weight
of an unearned moral superiority.

Handfuls of idolized babydoll
graced models meant
to ingrain femininity into
work-worn leathered hides
furthers the delusion
we are a protected, precious

And when our collected
spines turn away maybe
then they’ll understand
how they built women.

Tamara Fricke is the 2010 co-winner of the Gertrude Claytor Award of the Academy of American Poets and is previously published by The Lyon Review, Meat for Tea, Attack Bear Press Poetry Vending Machine, Whisper and the Roar, We Will Not Be Silenced, and has been included in a number of compilations.  Her poetry chapbook Our Requiem was released in 2014.  She lives in Springfield, MA, with an ungrateful cat, where she writes grants professionally.

How to be a woman – Kristiana Reed

pray for king and country
legs spread wide

cook, clean
track your cycle
against the moon
ready for baby no.2

get on your knees
and seek forgiveness

look pretty


but little –
shrink yourself
into the place you belong:
Pandora’s box
crafted by a god
for the ruin of man
the only female touch
is yours, nails clawing
at the velvet lined walls


rip the fabric
from the walls

bleed, because this
is your right

how to tear down concrete

and smash ceilings

face obstacles

and carry your sisters
to the finish line

continue to bleed,
to rise, to fall,
to live, to breathe
– this is your earth given right.

I write about love, lust, struggle, survival, fickle things, dreams and the stars. And anything in between. You can read more of my writing at My Screaming Twenties

I released my debut collection of poetry and prose in May 2019, Between the Trees which is available to buy, below. I am currently working on my second collection.

Between the Trees:

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Christine’s Daily Writing Prompt: How To Be A Woman

Throughout the month of August, Christine will be providing a daily writing prompt based on the title of a seminal feminist book. These are designed to inspire you to write a poem, prose piece, or a piece of flash fiction in 30 minutes or less.

The only rule is that you use the book title as your piece title OR integrate all the words in the title into your piece somehow

If you would like to have your piece considered for publication on Brave and Reckless and Whisper and the Roar, email your prompt inspired pieces to Christine at

You can also participate on Facebook by tagging your writing with:

  • # the title of the daily theme
  • #FeministBookChallenge
  • #braveandreckless66

or on Instagram by tagging your writing with:

  • # the title of the daily theme
  • #FeministBookChallenge
  • @christabelle1966

You can also share your response pieces in the comments below the Daily Prompt.

How to be a woman