I never ask for it.
Yes. Indeed, I don’t.
I may be a single mother of two, out at a nightclub, having a few drinks and just having a good time. I may chat up a stranger, I may flirt some. I may be wearing my shortest skirt and my highest heels. But believe me, I do not ask for it.
I may be all of sixteen trying out my first drink voluntarily with a bunch of school friends. I may choose their new car for having my first peg of vodka. I may be with five boys from my own school. I may laugh out loud, happy after the first glass of vodka. But I do not ask for it.
I may be returning home late from work every night. I may be walking down a dark street with no one but my shadow to keep me company. My hair may be open. I may be in a business suit. But I do not ask for it.
I may be six years old. I may be fair and conventionally pretty looking with long dark tresses that my mother ties up with bright ribbons every day. I may laugh often and cry less. I may like the color red and always have a smile on my face. But you see, I do not ask for it.
I may be staying alone in my house. I may be single, unmarried or widowed. I may have children or I may not. But when you pin me down, you must know that I did not ask for it.
I may be a sex worker. I may be young, I may be old. I may be the one who sleeps on the side of the road. I may be your domestic help. I may be your employee. I may be your babysitter.
I may be wearing a school uniform. I may be in my shorts. I may be with a girl friend. Or with a boy friend.
I may have been smoking a cigarette. I may have been stealing my first kiss behind a tree. I may have been by myself walking in the rain.
I may have been in a sari. I may have covered my head, my face, my arms.
I may have been physically challenged. I may have been a patient lying on the examination table. I may have been pregnant. I may have been having my periods. I may have been crying, laughing, smiling, frowning.
But whoever I am, whatever I am doing. I never ever ask for it.
So yes. Next time you point a finger at me, stop once and look at the other four fingers that point right back at you. You could be the stranger who I chatted with at the nightclub and who then dropped me home without raping me. You could be the police man who instead of deliberating on the morality of drinking vodka at sixteen could follow the law to the core and help track my rapists. You could be the minister who could stand up and make statement as to how rape as a crime should not be tolerated instead of talking about fabricated stories. You could be next door neighbor who instead of saying that I was being stupid could stand up and say that I would never ever ask for it.
Yes. Indeed. I don’t ask for it. Time after time, year after year, month after month. You need to wake up, you need to know. In all my stupidity, in all my smartness, in all my happiness and sadness, in all my excitement and in my helplessness. I DO NOT EVER ASK FOR IT.
Filed under: midweek crisis, Opinion and facts, Politics, rape, sexual assault, The hardest part, victim blaming | 16 Comments »