Being the centre of misplaced attention of a classmate who constantly chewed tobacco all the time looking at me is not a distant memory. Neither are the abusive calls, or the being tracked home all the way back from the Varsity! Scared? Yes! Hello World!
What can be the solutions to our everyday life problems? What can we do to not get harassed, molested, raped, or thrown acid at? It’s like a festival we don’t celebrate, but you do! Yes, laugh at the comparison! It’s that usual. We are aware that a festival is going on out there. Before we step out of our houses every other day, we already have on our minds the count of all the things that might go wrong. Your festival is on the top of our list! Deep in our hearts, we are already prepared. This may be why you like to believe you may bring it on.
Our families have put rocks on their hearts. One call missed inches them nearer to believing something has already happened! By the end of the day, we like to make the necessary call and tell them politely that we have escaped all rapes of the world for yet another day. That’s when they put their head on pillows in peace and drift to sleep. We like to believe that seeing the same strangers lurking around our routes every day, and unnecessary bothering in public transport are low key details they can do without. So, we keep it to ourselves.
Of course fathers cannot change the world singlehandedly. But they can keep their daughters to themselves. They can succeed in shielding their daughters from vices of the world by putting them in between four walls of the house. But our fathers don’t do that. They puff up their chests and stand behind us. They prepare us, with great courage, for warfare every day. Sometimes, we prepare them; when they’re unable to get over what they read in the newspaper.
Every time we hear yet another news, we grow less shocked and more ashamed, of you! The core of our heart, which already knew, laughs! We are not asking for your mercy, and we are not at the expense of it. Put simply, we lost expectations of you long ago. We knew what you were up to, when you objected at our clothing, and drew coarse remarks about our frankness. Our hands don’t shake no more; there is no stranger. Women know everyone! There are some who abuse, and others who inculcate the abuse culture. It is a collective process. With narrow eyes we observe people every day. Our ears have practiced hearing to what is said in between the audible. We carefully put our trust in hands of people who assure us in years, that they’re not one such. But our spine still shivers at every possibility. We straighten our backs up. We put our hand straight and manage handshakes! You are one of the many risks we’re willing to take. Because why not!
No, we’re not immature! We’ve lived enough years to know. We’ve been stopped enough number of times and have been taught well to be afraid. But we simply can’t help. Your festival is our breakfast news. It has been broken over to us in as many dreadful ways as possible. We simply can’t help, because now there’s nothing uncommon about it. Our everyday need to be safe has made us competitive. We do everything that you do. We blatantly refuse to compliment you. There’s nothing feminine about us, except that we are females. We refused to tap our feet at songs you rapped of your apparent heroism and chick count, long ago.
Look beyond yourselves! C’mon! Surprise us!