This is the reality every girl in our society lives in: every girl, everywhere, from every age, color and community, from every background and every section of the society, this is the reality they live in. No one escapes this, not even those predator, patriarchal and ‘I-don’t-need-feminism’ girls (one doesn’t brew poison and expect to poison others only, can they now?). There are further layers of oppression and differences of probability among girls indeed. But this is the bare minimum oppressive reality that a girl is born into and going to die within, something that a boy will never go through. With due respect and gravity towards every fake allegation and sexual assault men face, this never is the ‘systematic reality’ of a boy-never is, never was and never will be.
‘Not all men’, we know; but literally ‘any man can be’- that’s what the collective evidences say. So if you are an allie, you are among ‘not all men’, understand when I don’t trust you, at any point, no matter how much love, care or respect there is; we have seen them getting shattered, too often. If you are among ‘not all men’, understand that this distrust and the fact ‘any man can be’ are Your systematic reality. Understand that, whenever a rape happens, among all the cry for exemplary punishment (if at all, depending on the shock value) there will be a bunch of thoughtful opinions from genuinely good people, asking the ‘why’s from rapists’ side- economic deprivation, unemployment, illiteracy, marginalisation, discrimination, childhood trauma, bad parenting, product of a faulty system… Meanwhile corpses get piled on the other side, corps of victims coming from that same system of marginalisation and discrimination. Crime against women is so mainstream, so normalized, so explained that often they are not even a crime, just a normal incident, like an unfortunate accident.
And what do we do? Be cautious endlessly? Keep someone informed? Carry small weapon? Learn to fight? Self-defense techniques? Hell, I won’t be able to even move my hand if someone stronger enough grabs it, forget about being drugged, tied, facing a gang of people, torn apart, torched or run by a car! Let’s get real, life is not like movies. I will carry on with little bit of confidence, only until I fall prey, and that’s about it. I can’t fight afterward. I can try, but I will never win. Crazy depressing, but that is our reality. Pink reality. Flesh pink reality. Every time people get ‘shocked’ by the level of violence, they talk, few more incidents hit the limelight. And then we get tired of being insanely alert, on-guard, and terrified, and we move on until we are reminded again (through some news if we are very very lucky). Reminders, that’s what these news are, reality remains as it is. Reality that I can’t really fight. So I am doing what I can. I am writing this, before I go down, if I do. I want to tell the world: this is our reality, and anyone can be taken any day, anywhere. This is what we are surviving, every single day that we pass unharmed; and this is what we are fighting hopelessly.
This destined reality of us is something I low-key realized since 2012, and I never forgot it, not once. I thoroughly appreciate people thinking of uniting and forming local groups to fight back. I appreciate the whole internet flooding with safety measures for women-pepper spray, knife, self-defense techniques, emergency numbers, keeping phone-location on, going out in groups, all the ‘since no one will help, girls have to fight themselves’ and ‘teach the boys instead of giving guidelines’ (and the latest ‘call us in this number if you feel unsafe/need help in this areas’). I don’t intend to discourage people’s genuine concern and genuine efforts to fight back. That’s why I stopped myself several times from tearing down each of those ‘safety measures’ and showing how futile they are in most of the cases, tearing off those masks of relief and self-satisfaction of ‘this can be avoided if..’ that sharing such ‘guidelines’ provides, and destroying our pathetic attempts to create a psychological distance from the victims. We need that distance, those illusions of safety and false assurances, that little confidence that comes from learning few self-defense techniques (even after understanding that it will be absolutely nothing like the demos performed by experts trained for years). We need them for functioning, for mere survival-as long as we survive. But I’m terrified, hopeless, and tired of being hopelessly enraged. Hence with all love and respect to every well-wisher and sayers of ‘if she could..’, I’m showing them the road we are walking through and trying to survive.