My only demand is to feel safe. Is that too much to ask for?
I realize how difficult it would have been for you to control yourself. After all I was a girl, outside of home at night, in clothes that were obviously an invitation for you, in heels that were especially meant to tempt you and that I was trying to have fun and welcome the New Year with friends. How silly of me!
I should have probably listened to Ma when she said it wasn’t safe to be outside on that night. How silly of me to tell her India had developed and women were safer than she thought. What could have possibly happened to me in such a huge crowd? I was safe.
Clearly, I was wrong.
My safety was my responsibility and only I could help myself.
That night I had screeched for help. I had run around with my shoes in my hand. I had begged for help to the policeman who stood by the pavement, leaning against his car, picking his teeth. I had looked around for someone who could save me but the onlookers did what they have always been doing, they stood there and watched. Some even took videos only to go home, share it on social media and say how nobody helped.
That’s when I realized, my safety was my responsibility and only I could help myself. And so I kicked you in a place that makes you think you are the higher gender. I hit you ‘like a girl’ because I am a girl and I feel empowered to say that I can hit like a girl.
That is why I’m writing this letter today. This is not for you. It is for all the women in this unfortunate country who are afraid to hit like a girl. For the women who look around for someone to help them. For women who meekly wait till someone opens the door for them. This is for them. Your safety is your responsibility and only you can help yourself in this country.
A woman in the country.
Author: Zainab Haji