Teen performs powerful spoken word poem about everyday sexism


18-year-old student, Aranya Johar from Mumbai, India, gave an extremely powerful speech about everyday sexism.

She performed her spoken word poem ‘A Brown Girl’s Guide to Gender’ at an UnErase Poetry event in March for Women’s Day, and a video of her performance has since been shared over 100,000 times.

Aranya begins by telling the story of the first boy who held her hand.

‘’The first boy who held my hand, told me boys don’t want to hear about vaginas bleeding.’’

She then continues to talk about the restrictions Indian women are subject to so the don’t become ‘’another of India’s daughters.’’

‘’My mom telling me to wear skirts less often. So I wear my jeans and wear my long tops.’’

‘’Don’t show cleavage or a hint of my thighs. Don’t want to be mistaken for wanting it.’’

Speaking to Buzzfeed News, Aranya said this was the first time she had ever performed the poem and admitted it she had written it less than a week before the event.

The idea for the poem came about after she and her friends shared their experiences of assault and harassment with each other.

According to Buzzfeed News, she was also inspired to write the poem after the Nirbhaya rape case and the story of Laxmi, an acid attack victim.

"They were both so unfortunate and yet so real, it could happen to anyone," Aranya said.

The 18-year-old often posts her poetry to Instagram and Facebook, and also runs a performing arts start up. 


April 23rd – Patriarchy (Suggested by Anmol Pandita) #NaPoWriMo #patriarchy

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Aranya admitted she was shocked at the response from women all over the world as she didn't realise the issues she spoke about were as big of a problem outside of India. 

"We are bonding all over borders, but over such unfortunate things."