A Suicide Bomb
That’s what it kind of feels like being a woman these days. You grew up in a world that continuously gave you mixed signals, that abused you freely, that normalised being abused, that blamed you, your clothes, your body, your presence for anything and everything. For years you bottled up the fear, that anxiety when going to a public space and someone gets too close, approaches you, tries to talk to you, does not let you be. For years you froze and you secretly thought of what weapons to use; compass from the school pencil case, umbrella from the bag, broomstick or hockey stick under the bed, pepper spray with the purse. For years you dressed down when going in the bus, tuk, train or any kind of public transport for fear of attracting a val yaka (AKA perv) and somehow jeans and t shirts, school uniforms, abhayas and full length dresses were all tools of enticement, apparently.
For years you were silenced till the frustration got too much and you decided to finally lash out. At the perv in the bus, at the perv at office, at the perv on the road, at the perv at the party, at the perv at the club and so it goes on. And then you are the aggressive one, the one who is a Feminazi, the one who needs a fuck, the one who is asking for it, the one who is a bitch, a whore, a cunt, a slut, a whatever the fuck. And so it never ends.
And even now, when you want to voice this – this angst of years of abuse and psychological torture, of never being able to be free, never being able to wear what you want, say what you want or go where you want – when you voice it – you get labelled. You apparently instil fear in men. You instil a sense of resentment, apparently.
Aney pau yako, what the fuck, do you have any friggin clue what it is like?? No, you fucking don’t. But you whine like a butt hurt little boy simply because a majority of us suffer at the hands of a majority of you, and the few of you who aren’t, are living in some bubble of blissful ignorance.
So yes, goddamn it, we are fucking pissed – pissed that we can’t just be. That’s all we are asking for – the right to be – not more, not less. Equal. But no.
You don’t, get it no? How to, when you don’t know and you never will. How our greatest fear is to be raped or brutalised, how some of us actually are that, how every woman has known a pervert in this world – and how the fuck is that normal?
So yes, when we do lash out at the dude jacking us on the bus, the fellow groping our ass in the club, or the fucker who can’t take no for an answer – understand that it is years of angst, years of being suppressed and abused that is pouring forth in that one moment where we actually muster up the courage to tell whoever the devil, to fuck off.
It is an explosion from within that makes a volcano seem tame – simply because it is years of abuse and it never, fucking ends.