It is amazing how the liberation that i claim to have imbibed over the years, through my upbringing, education and general growing up, is not even close to as complete as i’d like it to be.
Liberation. Freedom. An individual. Rights. My Rights. It is all fine to shout to the world that this is all true. This is all mine. I can live as i want to, where i want to, how i want to.
What is not fine is how, when you do do that, even if only by walking down a road by yourself, and not really voicing it, there is always somebody- somebody- who will try to put you back in your ‘place’. it doesn’t even have to be alone. sitting in a car with the windows down can also prompt the man standing on the sidewalk, with his friends, blowing away his life in smoke, to try and make a grab at you.
how, if you so much as dare to step out after sundown, there is not a moment when you yourself do not fear the onslaught of a menagerie of men, all trying to claim equal share of the pie.
how, if you sit at a cafe or restaurant or go to watch a movie, on your own, you’re considered as available. And willing to be a player.
how, if you’re travelling in a bus or by the local train, and if you wear western clothes, and if you try to put on your ipod to block out the sounds of perversion, they’ll make sure you listen to them. and if you don’t oblige, you’ll see it. and feel it. the grossness of it all.
how if you want to hang out with you guy friends, or just your boyfriend, you’re again considered fair game. and the danger of being nabbed and swallowed by the beasts will intimidate you.
it continues to intimidate. it always will. it is imperative that women forever keep their minds and all senses open, at all times, when a part of the public. always, always we’ll feel the prickiness of being alert, for fear of being violated. what about the violation of one’s individuality in this constant experience of fear? how do you feel free if your, womanhood, is forever is at stake?!
there is liberation. It is a tangible facet of my life today. of a lot of women’s lives. but it is not complete. it feels like it will take forever to be so. the power tussle is not going to get resolved by burning our bras and screaming for sufrage or the threatening refusal to make dinner. the idea of equality is one that was never digested easily by the one who had the upper hand.
and that has to be a given. they do have the upper hand. and not all of them are alike. hell, not all of us are alike. there are those who submit, are taught to submit, to the will of power meekly. and those who are merely turned on by it. but for the rest of us, we will have to continue to yell in the face of our infringers, to tell this ‘civilised’ world what a severe breach of conduct some of the members of this society are making.
and till the day that our daughters will be able to walk in peace, as carefree as that languid black cat that crosses the road on its pace, leaving those behind with a shadow of doubt if they should tread further, we will continue to walk the roads, and wear skin tight tees and listen to our ipods and scream bloody murder when the beast raises its paw…till then.