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Two Finger Test

During the Egyptian revolution in 2011, women who had been detained by the military were subjected to so-called ‘virginity tests’ to refute claims that they had been raped while in custody. The “two finger test” is still used as evidence in rape investigations in India. They rape victims, no matter what age, with their fingers to determine whether she is ‘accustomed to sexual intercourse’, which is (do I need to say this) so completely unscientific that they might as well read coffee grounds, and so heinous that these investigators should have to stand trial themselves.

Questions of anatomy aside, virginity has no bearing whatsoever on the veracity of a girl’s or woman’s claim of having been raped. When you follow through with the logic behind it, this sort of test actually says that non-virgins are ‘already ruined’ (we lose our virginity after all, we don’t gain anything) and are thus unrapeable.

A friend of mine in India inspired me to write this poem, but it should be noted that this kind of thing has also happened in the west. The patriarchy just likes to wear a few different colors, but the fabric is the same.

Two finger test

Do you know what that means, two finger test?

It means that whatever you leave, every inch

Is one too many

Shouldn’t have been there

Shouldn’t have been



Two finger test is a different way of spelling rape

You won’t find it in the dictionary

Nobody likes to talk about it

Get it done with



How else can you know

We can’t make sure you were good

Without making you bad again

And again



Like a shipment of meat

The thermometer needle

cold enough

It mustn’t spoil



Like a witch trial

See if she will float

No, turns out she was whole

Too bad, not anymore

But now we know


Burden of proof

Becomes proof of our burden


Two finger test – what does that mean?

The definition of a crime is negotiable

And my body is a finite good

And they measure out what’s left of me

Put it on the table and say

That’s one inch too many

Shouldn’t have been there

Shouldn’t have been

Shouldn’t have





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