Thursday, December 20, 2012

V for?

Not Vendetta. Sadly. What you're about to witness, dear reader ("mon semblable, mon frere" echoes in my head every last time I so much as think this phrase, leave alone commit it to paper or screen [that bloody Baudelaire was a genius]), are what might well be some of the most vituperative ramblings this 'ere blog has been home to in a while - and if you've read me before, you know this is saying a lot. I'm tired. Very tired, but this wouldn't come anywhere near doing what I feel justice. Why, then, this yen to write? Because 'the mind is uneasy, Krishna'. And I'm hoping, therefore, to milk it for something not entirely worthless. This last in keeping with my attempt at strict and exclusive utilitarian instrumentality.

I've been wandering around minding my own business; just another life in the process of living if you like, but these past few days have been painful. In a visceral, not ethereal, way. I wake up on the cusp of tears, and sleep much the same way. The 'cause', you ask (aside: I like how I get to manufacture your questions which are also mine, and pretend this is a dialogic exercise when, clearly, it is no such thing. I think I've finally understood why Gandhi chose this 'mode' for his gut-wrenching manifesto against modernity, 'Hind Swaraj')? Delhi. Calcutta. Ahmedabad. Three cities. Three gang-rapes; and these are only the ones which we've heard about since day before yesterday. And these travesties do *not* account for the countless little violences; the everydayness, the banalisation, the naturalisation of our collective societal attitudes which manifest in slighting, belittling, degrading, destroying thought, word, and deed in our dealings with women. We've always been about short-cuts, us. How? Alors, let me illustrate this with an example: we put women on pedestals - which, of course, is where good goddesses belong, n'est-ce pas? - and in so doing, render them a frozen 'stupefied' category. Poetry in stone, if you like. Immobile. Unchanging. Out of action. Unable to do. So far, so familiar, comforting/comfortable. Let's pat ourselves on the back - patriarchy has been saved to live and die another day. The problem, if you like, comes in when 'she' - my erstwhile stony goddess, chooses to be human. To live a little. To fuck a little. To read a little; to think a little. This necessitates her entry into a hitherto foreclosed public sphere. Here, she will see and be seen. She will have to do. And this is when she starts becoming a thorn in your side. If 'assertive' (in that she isn't mute), 'independent' (in that she's, *gasp* 30, happily unmarried and has a job/ is 22, married, with three kids, but *still* has a job/ is 16 and has been allowed to choose her own college degree program/ is 14 and has been allowed to determine whether she will read the Arts or Sciences for high school/ is 3 and oblivious to this debate) in that she has some semblance of self-determination, she is to our twisted, pathological minds "transgressing" roles/moulds/bounds/categories outlined for her since the beginning of time. And for this, by god, you will make the bitch pay.

Of course, this leads to the slightly problematic (if *extremely* apt in the current situation) formulation that most Indian men are no more (but some, even a whole lot less) than their penises. I've always, in jest, said a lot of them were dicks - I had no idea I was on to something so fucking profound. If the sum of their manhood is invested in their being able to assert and thrust themselves upon unwilling victims because they lack the ability to find someone who will love/fuck them out of choice, what does that say about them? And can this surprise you, given that as a society, you see women as objects - as pieces of meat - to be picked up off the streets/ on buses/ in trains/ on college campuses/ in their own homes and families, and abused at will? With - and this is what hurts the most - utter and complete impunity? Immunity, even? I've explored this theme before in http://peacehappening.blogspot.in/2011/08/i-told-you-so.html and http://peacehappening.blogspot.in/2010/07/oh-horror-of-it-all.html, should you want to examine what I'm referring to more critically.

My heart goes out to the victims of these heinous acts of unmitigated violence, misogyny and hostility. But, what is else, it also goes out to every woman in this country - regardless of who she is, where she comes from, what she does. This is no country (fuck off if you're about to point out how much "worse" it is in some other places/how nowhere is "safe" - I know this already, but as I've said before, another place being more dangerous is *no* excuse for us having to live in what is admittedly a hell-hole. Also? You. Made. It. Like. So.) for old (or young, or middle-aged, or...) women. We should hang our heads in shame already. Each and every last one of us is implicated.                 

1 comment:

Faa Fuu said...

Nobody could write anything else but sorry. So I am sorry to read this.