I believe that most women, irrespective of race, religion, caste or creed, go about their lives with latent rage building up inside. No, we aren't born with it. It's a direct result of enduring and witnessing injustice over generations. Encountering sex-based discrimination, harassment, and even violence on a regular basis results in this slow build of rage that gradually begins to settle under our skin, around our thoughts, and on our bones. Like dust that settles all over after a storm. This rage becomes a part of us that very rarely finds a healthy outlet. This rage is like an autoimmune disorder, it attacks our own bodies and minds viciously. Never letting anyone on the outside know how the insides are crumbling.
Most women know what I am talking about. Even those who take the patriarchy pill every morning with their tea. In late night conversations once the kids have slept, or standing in the kitchen as the tea boils over, or huddled in the corner away from men, women spill the damage endured so far. They show each other their battle scars. They tell their tales. They confess. They console. They cry. They wrap these shared secrets and keep them close by.
They wonder, sometimes out loud, if it would have been better to be born a male. Entitled. Privileged. Without the burden of being reduced at each stage to what's between their legs.
I have never wanted to be born a man. I love being a woman-- all of it. I celebrate my femininity and its immense power. But, I have wondered what it would mean to be a woman in a world where my intellect, my feelings, my actions aren't tagged to one single aspect of my identity.
And I wonder about it a lot. I wonder if women's opinions will still be considered emotional rambling and if men's opinions will still construed as facts. I wonder if we can stop apologising for having minds of our own. I wonder if I can shed the burden of being likeable 24/7. I wonder if our actual physical pain will still be overlooked by healthcare workers who think we are being dramatic. I wonder if I'll have to think twice before smiling at some one walking down the street. I wonder if I can stop looking over my shoulder when I am alone. I wonder if I can stop fearing dark corners and empty roads. I wonder if people will stop confusing my quest to ensure my safety as paranoia.
I wonder if I can fully inhabit a world without disclaimers- will it open up to me its dark alleys and corners, its beaches and its mountains, its woods and its deserts?
But what I wonder is so far removed from reality that all I have left is this simmering, burning, latent rage. Different women wield this rage in different ways. Some deny society the pleasure of dictating the rules by creating their own rules, some carry hammers in their purses and break glass ceilings, some direct their rage at themselves and fling the hammer at other women, some mould the rage into a force that drives them to create a more equitable world.
Our rage will one day rise and crush all the injustice we have had to face silently so far. Our collective voice will be deafening. And I can't wait for it.
© 2018 - Azlan. All rights reserved.