I am sure there has been some in-fighting this year, in playgrounds, boardrooms and social networking. But I don't believe calling a person who would like to identify as an ally out for ill used language, for instance, is in-fighting. Can it really be such a terrible power sap to listen to minorities? Frankly if I ever find myself part of a movement that doesn't question itself, that isn't striving for constant development or evolution then I want out. Immediately.
I have been thinking a lot lately about survivor's guilt, the statistics of violence against women and girls and white middle class women's silence. And I can't help but wonder if there's a link. It's hard to comment on something you feel very removed from. It's harder when you realise the Othering you are seeing on the news with regard to Delhi's handling of a young woman's brutal rape is not so Other after all. What's worse? We know it.
Commentary concerning India's severe need to address women's rights are not particular to India, it's just being particularly aimed at India. While terrible, terrible quotes have been bandied about from various sources in India regarding painted ladies and promiscuous young girls, they are not unfamiliar. In Italy Father Piero Corsi took the seasonal opportunity to nail his Christmas message about domestic abuse on the Church wall (Martin Luther style): “The core of the problem is in the fact that women are more and more provocative, they yield to arrogance, they believe they can do everything themselves and they end up exacerbating tensions.”
Father Corsi is by no means alone in his attitude. On the run up to New Year across the UK police departments have run anti rape campaigns warning women to watch their alcohol intake, rather than warning men to ask consent. In an interview a high profile feminist suggested the clacking of high heels on pavement could act as a rape klaxon.
what is society if when it comes to the crime of rape taking the attitude 'shit happens' would be an improvement?
What is wrong with us, what is society if when it comes to the crime of rape taking the attitude 'shit happens' would be an improvement?
This is not just India's fight, this is not just India's problem. 1 in 4. How many women do you have in your family? How is it that, statistically speaking, by boarding an unlicensed bus Damini was probably safer than had she stayed in her own home? How is it that when we watch footage of the people protesting the misogynist attitudes rife in India a thankful tone is struck that we live in Europe? When know this fear. We know this.
We know it not because we live with some undefined fear. We know it because it happened. Here. In the UK. And we didn't take to the streets and we didn't give her a heroic name and we didn't beat down the doors of parliament screaming 'Never Again'. So it happens again. And all I can think is forgive me, forgive me, forgive me, forgive me.