Well, halloa! That’s hullo, in Sherlock Holmes speak. It’s been a while! The thing is, I have lost my language. I don’t know if it happens to any of you, but sometimes some events leave me dumb. Without speech, oral or written. Ironically, this time it was the horrorifying hatred meted out to the girl in Delhi who was on board one of my favourite city hangouts: a public bus. Ironic, because this particular case did something very heartwarming — it brought Delhiites out onto unsanitised protest spaces because they simply couldn’t contain their anger to Jantar Mantar anymore. My friend tells me she even saw a neighbourhood protest march in Dwarka! Dwarka!! My ‘local’ in Delhi, that huge sub-city, the mass of buildings that house people who mostly leave it in the morning for work and re-enter again in the evening. Dwarka, where women and men aren’t safe sometimes even in brightly lit spaces on main roads, or even in front of metro stations. Delhi was finding some sort of a voice against gender violence, so why was I/am I stricken silent?
To be honest, I think I am re-evaluating the nature of future feminist interventions from my side. I am so tired of the rage I feel when I read of and hear of and see sexual violence, so tired of seeing it everywhere that I’ve decided I need to re-orient the lens with which I view feminism. By that I don’t mean that I’m suddenly changing my ideas, I’m just very, very concerned about the question of my personal intervention: in conversations, in writing, in my own participation in public movements. This re-orientation is still in process and the only thing it has achieved so far, is my solemn decision to quit anger. I did a lot of outraged sputtering in the aftermath of the Delhi gang-rape, in conversations with well-meaning people with disturbing (to me) ideas about rape and women. Outraged sputtering is just that: incoherent, useless, and injurious to mental health. It’s also the quickest way to ensure a potentially willing ear turning hostile:) Delhi in December gave me hope because it brought in a new audience and new actors. I too need to figure out a way to relate to the non-converts.
In the meantime, I choose to take in and not produce. This is going to be an indiscriminate sort of intake of news, views, ideas and I’m determined to push my own eyesight above the horizon I have thus far set for myself. I’m going to dig in corners I used to leave well alone.
Somewhat on that note, I’d like to share with you some links that I’ve found interesting recently. They are just random links that may or may not be related. I’d love for you to also share your own random links, in the comments section below.
1. Feministing has a series on faith and feminism. A couple of links from there:
3. This exchange on Reddit did the rounds of social media a while back. I’m sharing it here because Balpreet Kaur’s graceful response to an attempt at publicly ridiculing her body is terribly inspiring to me. Perhaps you too might like to read it/read it again.
4. An image for your amusement.
There you go. Unethical sex is cancerous. (Courtesy my friend Pallavi Paul who brought it to my attention, Kavita Krishnan who shared this image and Uday Shankar, who captured it. Link- https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10200414255700524&set=a.1087868318491.15467.1279934175&type=1&ref=nf)
5. And some upcoming events:
- Film festival in Chennai, 22-23 February, on gender and violence. For more details-
- International conference, ‘Feminist Inscriptions in Social Theory’, 22-24 February at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata. For schedule and details: https://www.facebook.com/events/320378558079462/?ref=25
- One Billion Rising for Soni Sori, 8 March, 2013. For more-https://www.facebook.com/OneBilliionRisingforsonisori