Rules of a Sri Lankan Man


To be a true and honest Sri Lankan man,

you need to make pedestrian women feel

as uncomfortable as you possibly can.

Honk your horns at her. Wolf whistle.

Let her see the lust and longing,

as you slowly undress her with your eyes,

when you sit across her in a train.

Do this for the entirety of the ride and

make no attempt to conceal any extruding body parts because

You’re a man!


When walking past pretty girls on the street,

be sure to subtly lean in and whisper something dirty in her ear like,

“Hey baby, nice ass”, and keep walking.

When travelling with friends,

be sure to divert all your attention to a singular by standing woman

and make subtle comments about her appearance.

Be sure she hears. Be sure you laugh as loud as you could.

And if any of the above happens to your mother or sister,

be sure to hunt that asshole down and make him pay through his teeth.


Dear Sri Lankan boys,

My body is not a public commodity.

My assets are not yours to savour.

Dear Sri Lankan boys,

You are the reason a man with good intentions can’t approach a woman

because he’d only be greeted by a sceptic glare

or the occasional slap across the face

You are the reason women are so afraid

to accept a kind word, a helpful gesture,

without being instantly suspicious and wary.


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to yell at a man

trying to grab, grope or sneak a peak

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to stand there

Silently frothing,

as I felt irregular protrusions against my back

because my protests will only backfire

as ridicule and ignorance.

There will be no defence ‘cause boys will be boys,

just trying to have some fun,

But let me assure you, sir,

My body is not your play toy.


Dear Sri Lankan men,

You need to teach your sons how to treat women

before restricting your daughters from living their lives

That it does not matter if my jeans are too tight,

my sleeves too short, or my makeup too heavy,

I am a woman.

You need to stop defining us like we’re part of the furniture

Like I’m a punching bag, a window,

A toilet to take all your shit.


I am more than my ass or these breasts I was cursed with

I am a person

With the right to wrap my hands around your damned throat

if you ever touch me again.

And then there will be no defence

I will need no sympathy from bystanders

too narrow-minded to stop street harassment

Because girls will be girls, doing what we have the right to

Protect ourselves.


Image Courtesy : © 1952, 1980 Ruth Orkin / Courtesy of Stephen Bulger Gallery 

Recent Comments

  • Nuzha Mohamed
    January 21, 2016 - 4:17 pm · Reply

    May your kind breed! This is what the society needs: women who will stand up for themselves without having to wait for someone to do it for them.
    Very well written!

  • Natashi Jay
    January 21, 2016 - 6:12 pm · Reply

    Strength. That’s all I can say about this. Your strength strives in your words, and your opinions are shared by thousands upon thousands of others who have suffered the same or worse fate. Aanisha, what a beautiful spoken word. I’m glad such platforms exist so that people like you can give the world a piece of your mind, and leave them with an honest but humbling harshness. Well done! I’m a fan!

    • Profile photo of Inappropriate Commas
      Inappropriate Commas
      January 22, 2016 - 6:15 am · Reply

      Hi, your point was duly noted. We didn’t intend to use the picture as an exact representation of harassment. But more or less as support for this particular piece. We have altered the courtesy as you pointed out, adding to that we appreciate such comments and thank you for your support.

  • dady
    January 21, 2016 - 9:34 pm · Reply

    Way to go girl, you can be sure ill be there to hunt that asshole down and make him pay through his teeth if it happens to you.


  • Honest Sri Lankan Man
    January 22, 2016 - 4:37 pm · Reply

    Great speech. Here’s the thing.
    I think it’s terribly wrong of you to actually typecast all men in Sri Lanka and target them with such blunt hate. Surely you understand that not every male in Sri Lanka does the terrible things you’ve mentioned? Or is your level of sarcasm completely drowning out your attempt to bring a social issue to light? Hate speech isn’t going to solve anything. Even if every twisted sick perv in Sri Lanka reads this piece in their most comprehensible language it won’t show them any reason to change. Realise this world is made of many colours not black and white and that you can you use your gift of writing to influence people in a far greater way.

    P.S. typo: You’re “a” man!(end of first paragraph.)

    • Profile photo of Inappropriate Commas
      Inappropriate Commas
      January 24, 2016 - 3:35 pm · Reply

      Thanks for dropping by and expressing your opinions. Also thanks again for pointing out the typo and it’s now corrected, our minions have dropped the “a” somewhere while this piece was in the oven.
      Hoping to see you soon again here Honest Sri Lankan Man.

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