A friend once asked me what my greatest fear was and in reply, I said rape. He was puzzled, because for him rape was not a valid fear, at least not for any “decent” woman. Just like this friend of mine, there are some for whom the term rape is nothing more than an opportunity for women to destroy the reputation of men or a form of punishment which is only meted out to “indecent” women or women who either through their actions or words “asked for it”
There is a certain fear that comes with being a woman. A certain feeling, not inborn, not inherited but learnt. It resides in your head like a rent paying tenant and from time to time it rings a bell.
When walking down a quiet road at night, the bell rings. It rings and it tells to walk faster, run if possible, look behind you and make sure no one is following you. When you’re asked out on a date, it rings and it tells you do not go to his house, make sure your dress isn’t too short, tell your friends and family members where you’re going to, make sure to meet in a public place. This bell, although disguised as a protective warning, is actually a limitation to our freedom. It stops us from doing so many things all in an attempt to save us from the hands of predators.
As women, we are bound by a single chord. As if born from the same womb, we all are sisters. Sisters; not by virtue of blood but by virtue of shared pain, sisters by virtue of shared experiences.
There are a few men amongst us who have managed to master the art of empathy and sympathy. These ones try to put themselves in our shoes, to feel what we feel, see what we see, each heart beat, each emotion; but the sad truth is MEN WILL NEVER TRULY UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE A WOMAN. To live each day with a choking fear. To view true freedom as an unattainable luxury reserved for only the male specie. But perhaps one day the universe will hear the cries of her daughters and things will change, but until then we shall continue to live with our bells in our heads and continue to pray and hope that we are not the next victim.