One of the best parts of blogging is meeting new people from around the world. This has been true for one woman I’ve followed, who is from India, Lovey Chaudhary. (Femonomic). I realized we shared similar ideas about women and social justice issues when she read and reviewed The Unhappy Wife four years ago. So, when she announced her book of poetry, Femonomic: Women Invite Crime, centered on raising people’s consciousness about how Indian women are (mis)treated, I was intrigued.
Poetry is sometimes stereotyped as flowery and light, but the poems found in this book are anything but. Although I knew Lovey’s background and stance, at first I was alarmed by how the book began. Titles like, “the fate of an unborn in womb” and “infanticide” introduce the reader to Indian culture where babies are murdered because they are not male children. But, I get it. The female species is undervalued at birth. The very idea of having a girl child is repulsive and unwelcomed. And, if girls are allowed to be born in this society, then poems like “acid attack cycle” demonstrate what could happen as they age. If you’re unfamiliar, then this link may provide background on this vile practice.
Another occurrence in this country is that crimes against women are rarely brought to justice because men continue to be in power in misogynistic and violent ways.
One of my favorite poems from her collection that shows the lack of consequence is “crime and punishment,” which I’ll share here:
one of many tainted times
the crime is not rewarded
with the retribution along the same lines
the archetypal excuses of the judiciary
and typical society
are silently soaked in sanguine saccharine
about legal implications and sentence
how ailing it is for you to drink
three cups of justice and two latest of equality
to hydrate pages with some ink while righteousness await
This poem speaks to me because of its universality. It demonstrates the injustices that many of us around the globe face. There doesn’t seem to be a real “justice system” for all, but rather a system that works for whomever is at the top of the power structure. I also think Chaudhary uses alliteration in a creative way. Silently soaked in sanguine saccharine sounds optimistic, especially because saccharine is sweet and sanguine can be positive, but the implication is that it isn’t. Injustices will continue as usual, not just for India, but for us all.
Chaudhary also asks rhetorical questions throughout, like this one, “Can the damage be undone for what our world has become” (p. 48).
This question and another poem, “plastic planet” is imperative for everyone. The Amazon fires and plastic floating in the ocean make me wonder the same thing. What can we do? Is it too late?
These poems are also inspirational. From self-love to anxiety, Chaudhary encourages the reader to get up and do more.
If you’re interested in poetry or any of the themes mentioned, then please purchase Femonomic: Women Invite Crime or follow her on these platforms: