Women of Forbidden Fruit
To Eve, Persephone and other women of forbidden fruit,
There is a girl who writes a Wikipedia article on a woman in science
every time she gets harassed for being a woman in STEM.
There are now over 5000 female scientists listed on Wikipedia.
Female authors are less likely to be featured on The New York Times book review.
They are less likely to win awards. JK Rowling was told to use a male pen name
like Louisa May Alcott, Marry Ann Evans and the Brontës before her.
My mother had a brain surgery and my father has tried to
convince her that she’s going mad ever since.
Male culture has depended on keeping women in the dark.
Eve, you should see how many works of art
the question of good and evil has inspired.
You would not miss the innocence.
Speaking of innocence, male culture has also depended on
infantalising women but that’s a poem for another day.
Eve, you are not a cautionary tale. Curiosity is not a cautionary tale.
It’s ridiculously unfair that we associate fruit with success and fertility
and the woman who bit into it with monstrosity.
Eve. Eve. Ever.
Persephone, I like the story where you choose to eat the pomegranate seeds
because you love Hades. Queen of the underworld who wanted
to find her way back home, in to Plutonic arms.
Women who ask the tough questions and value hard truths,
women who bite into forbidden fruit, juice dripping past their lips,
You are why heaven and hell exist.
By Amogha Sridhar
Amogha Sridhar is a writer from India. She wrote for the Times of India as a student correspondent and her poetry has appeared in the This magazine and the Thistle magazine. She is currently an art editor at The Missing Slate.