Hello. I am an Angry Woman. This is not the same thing as Angry Girl that gives rise to a subculture of music and other pop references. It has only partly to do with my age. Because I’ve survived over a decade of adulthood as part of the discriminated gender, I’ve accumulated a few things, including a thicker skin.
I don’t like the term ‘weaker sex’. Of course it’s archaic and not quite true. And yet, I don’t believe that we are a strong sex. We certainly are the biggest discriminated-against minority in the world – half the population. Rape, violence, chauvinism, gender inequality at work, subjugation in social rituals and harassment are just some of the differential treatment meted out to us.
People don’t like me. They’ve learnt to detest hearing me speak because I only say things they don’t like. I behave like things are not okay, like the world ought to do something about it. I think it makes them slightly ashamed and fearful. So they cover it up by being mean to me, by running me down, by hurting me with condescension, taunts and injustice.
I’ve been beaten by people I loved and trusted. I’ve been forced to endure unwelcome attention from strangers and blamed for it. I’ve had to deal with men’s sexual advances far before I was ready and judged, abused and humiliated for not always going along. Also, for going along. I’ve been betrayed, cheated on and hurt with the propagators justifying their actions saying that I asked for it or that I deserved it. And I’ve been discredited, taunted, condescended to, laughed at and ostracized for talking about all these things. By the way, I’m Indian and we deify our women here. So domestic violence, dowry demands, public censure for having an opinion are very real to me.
But time hasn’t made my anger any less. That’s what makes me an Angry Woman. I don’t lash out in frustrated hurt as much now. That comes from disappointment, which comes from expecting goodness, justice and love. I know now the world does not like women and to be born one, is to have to accept that reality or suffer dire disappointment.
This doesn’t mean that I’ve given up my beliefs though. I still believe that I have the right to my own body, to my life choices, to my choice of partner, to my sexual activities, to my career, to my health, to my peace of mind, to my choice of dressing and to my schedules. I believe that I have the right to all of these in complete safety and respect and to face problems in these constitutes human rights violation. The world violates my fundamental rights and I don’t accept it.
True, this makes life harder for me. In all likelihood, I will never find a meaningful relationship with a man who loves and trusts me. I will struggle in my friendships as men and women both cut me down, driven by their personal agendas and demons. I will not tread a straight path to my career, as I have to stop to fend off attacks from people who are close to me as well as those who compete with me. But since the only alternative is to live an oppressive lie that life is good to me, a woman – something I have never learnt to do – I will persist.
As long as I stand strong – and I hope this is for as long as I live – I will not stoop to what my detractors do. I won’t cheat, lie to or betray the world around me because of my anger. I will also not fit into the conventional stereotypes. I will have my laughs, my joys, my pride and my life. By refusing to accept or play this game that doesn’t play fair, I intend to be a permanent thorn in the flesh of the status quo. I will probably not have an easy life but my word does and will continue to go out to other women, especially those younger than me. And the next generation will see more like me.
Consider yourself warned. This Angry Woman is not backing down.