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‘It is our right to exercise our pleasure’: A performance poet reads her verses on women’s sexuality

‘Your body is not a temple, neither sacred nor holy, it is a graveyard of societal conventions.’


Priya Malik feistily starts her spoken-word poem Right to Pleasure with the line, “Dear men, here are a few definitions that might help,” before teaching them the meaning of “choice” and “consent”.

“Which brings me to you, dear women,” Malik continues, as she assertively defines the words “pleasure” and “right”.

Malik’s poem, performed at an UnErase Poetry event, breaks down hackneyed images of women and their sexuality, and asks them to explore their desires. “It is our right to exercise our pleasure, and our pleasure to exercise that right,” she asserts.

Though Malik originally made a name for her appearance on the reality television show Bigg Boss, she is now better known for her poetry and stand-up performances.

“Your body is not a temple, neither sacred nor holy
It is a graveyard of societal conventions
Tombstones inscribed with centuries of shame
Of being told that being sexual is a bad thing.”

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