Rape. A word that sends shivers down the spine every time I hear it.
Not that any other form of violence is any less traumatic!
But there’s something in a woman’s system that creates an ‘angry void’ when she hears the word ‘rape’.
For a woman, the unsettling reaction to rape isn’t a reaction to the actual act of rape.
It’s a long ‘suppressed reaction’ to something that runs deeper.
It almost feels like a hollow scream from the crevices of her soul. Something that’s painfully present in her journey from being a child to a woman.
When she’s just a toddler, she’s just a young child jumping around in her pretty pink frock.
Slowly, the innocent, doe-eyed child observes that the men in her life – neighbours, cousins, friends – don’t necessarily look at her soul or consciousness or mind, when they look at her.
Rather, she’s being ‘looked at’ for the way her body is becoming.
Gradually, the girl starts to get accustomed to being stared at, leered at, touched, without her consent or interest or even understanding of why it’s all happening in the first place.
Sadly, the final act of being born as a ‘woman’ doesn’t happen when she becomes a financially independent individual in her late 20s.
It’s that fleeting moment during those ‘mmature teens’ when she finally accepts the fact that’s this is how it’s always been, and this is how it always will be – not an easy transition into the complexities of womanhood, if you ask me! 🙂
For Asifa, and many toddlers & children like her, perhaps everything got lost at the initial stage of being a young child. May Asifa and likes of her rest in peace and be re-born, if at all, as a boy!