“This is a restaurant. You girls can be a little quiet. People make phone calls, etc and you are disturbing them”, he decried, albeit in a sugar-coated tongue.
The gentleman is old, according to Indian standards of age, and we are three of us, in our late twenties. On another table, adjacent to ours, is a group of middle-aged men, talking loud. But, he chose to come to our table, to teach us the manners required of women in public places, and how they need to behave, as a fatherly figure bearing the righteous flag of moral traditions and behaviours.
This incident, isolated and finished in time, is an ongoing altercation, my body, my mind, and my spirit still agitated and raging, three hours after. On the other hand, I am convinced that the gentleman would be sharing the righteous action he had taken on this day, and how girls have been let to degrade their characters and that of their families. The only reason, my friends or I did not offer him an equivalent retort was because of his seniority in age, a lesson in morality that we had learned and continue to uphold because it dignifies the other person.
The discourse of women in the modern period having a better reality than our foremothers is a myth that we live along with our sisters. The present reality and the empowerment it has rendered upon us are loosely intertwined with our agency, taken away in a jiffy, sometimes, without even our knowledge. Had it not been for feminism, women’s agency given the rhetoric of its secondary or inferior nature would never have been deemed worthy of a discourse within the existing kyriarchal structures.
It takes less pains to understand why women have been angry, are angry, and will be angry, sabotaging our mental and physical health in the process, prone to depression, crises of identity, feelings of inferiority, and undervalued personhood. I believe in forgiveness, but I also know that women are more predisposed to learn forgiveness than men. Had it been the justified nature of anger and rage of women owing to their realities, the world’s structures should have been burned down just as the witches were burned alive.
I implore our common foremothers, foremothers who had walked upon this earth, sowing the first seed, experimenting, gestating, nurturing, creating, loving, ruling, protecting, and learning, to come to our aid again and again. We are in the year of the feminine and the feminine energy is rising around us and there is little one could do to stop it.
I take this oath in the name of my foremothers, on their flesh and blood, to live my personhood that they created and inhabited for themselves so we could live ours.