Women’s anger is justified, living suppressed in a rape culture, and our oppressors still safe because we’ve not owned our anger yet.
I have never been actually raped — been really fortunate to have never experienced the utter devastation of being violated in that most intimate space of my being. But I have spent my life surrounded by what I choose to call the energy of rape — the energy within a frighteningly large number of men around me who wanted to, felt entitled to grabbing my body and appropriating it for themselves.
Like almost all Indian women, I have lived, since childhood, with being groped, grabbed, pinched, touched, felt, checked out.
I have walked the streets surrounded by men calling out to me what they would like to do to me if they got a chance, or conveying it to me through the way they looked at me.
I have lived with the silence of men when I called out for help, which told me that even though they were not violating me themselves, they were ok with me being violated.
I have lived surrounded by men who told me why I was not good enough for them — why I needed to dress, make up, accessorise and behave in ways that would attract them to me.
I have lived surrounded by men who objectified other women in my presence. This told me that they thought of me as an object for consumption and felt entitled to dress me up in their preferred dressings and icings, to accept or reject me as objects of consumption.
At age 46, I have experienced being dragged into a forest by a boy of 19 with the intention of rape.
This is what I am calling the energy of rape. This having to live with the intention of rape in the men I am surrounded with — living with this, knowing that a lot of men around me would rape me if they could.
Today I felt a lot of rage come up in my body, thinking of this energy of rape in which all of us women have to live from birth to death. I felt that rage dance through my body and it was tremendous and powerful.
I have now learnt thanks to the therapy training I am taking to let my body process and regulate this rage and release it from my system. But I have also known a time when this rage had the power to burn me down to nothing, or, if I chose to enact it, burn down everything around me.
And I know that every woman in this world lives with this colossal and powerful rage within her.
Boy! Men should surely be thankful that we have not burnt the world down already with this quantum of rage. And know that this is just because most of the women have still not owned this rage yet.
When sufficiently large number of us do own this all encompassing women’s anger, and if nothing changes with men still, I wonder what may happen.
Image source: YouTube and a still from the film Mirch Masala
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Aparna Pallavi's current callings are as a therapist, contemplative writer and researcher of indigenous
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