That Ol’ Christmassy Spirit

So nice at Christmas to have a horrible gang rape in Delhi.

I read all morning till I felt sick.

Had an impassioned debate with the ex about it because one of the ex’s friends posted a Facebook message that had the right sentiment but said stuff like “She’ll never have a normal married life now”, which wound me up immediately.

1. So much importance on marriage post-rape. Not: she’s been subjected to awful violence, why is this now so common? What about justice?,

But: What about her marriage? It’s part of the problem because there is a huge percentage of women who probably won’t step forward because people might whisper and say

“Who will marry her now?”

So then fewer women step forward, more rapists can get away with it and we have a neat addition to this cyclical problem (In my opinion anyway). I’m sure I’m expressing myself terribly badly.

2. Even though in this case the violence was so extreme it may possibly be true in a medical sense, this is still a massive assumption and deeply patronising.

3. The word ‘normal’ annoys me. Some Delhi shee-shee type with her Gucci armpit bag on one arm, her rich husband on the other, her lipstick just so, talking about a ‘normal’ married life.

I really wanted the ex to contest these points on this lady’s message but the ex doesn’t get sucked into online debates as easily as I do.

Which is probably very sensible.

Now I’m also angry about every time I’ve said I feel anxious, and I’ve had Bombay people tell me,

“Dude stop being paranoid. Just get over it.”

“Don’t listen to her, she doesn’t even live there anymore. Bombay is really safe.”

It’s true. I don’t live there anymore. The contrast now is far clearer. When I lived there the day-to-day occasional molestation was blocked out. It has to be. Besides you just get immune to it. I’ve had only about 4-5 such incidents. Pretty small number I think. Only one or 2 really unnerved me, but you brush them off.

“Bombay isn’t like Delhi. Delhi has rapemobiles.”

“You should go to Delhi if you think Bombay is bad.”

Like that comparison somehow makes it better. You won’t get AS molested in Bombay as in Delhi.

“Bombay is sooooo safe man. You’re being SUCH a foreigner.”

The little bubble Bombay people live in. Each time there is a terrible rape or some ganging up and stripping of a girl in public (NYE, twice), there is a brief, fleeting hoo-hah then it’s all forgotten.

Even though one of these hoo-hahs was about a teenager being raped by a policeman at a Bandra chowki.

But far more first hand experiences exist (Not that you need first-hand experiences, because there are plenty of dismal stats, but because “first hand experiences” seems to be part of the debate for pro-Bombay safety put forward by many of my friends, Leo included.):

One of my friends was held at gun point outside her house and car jacked, another girl told me how she leapt from a cab after he leaned back while driving, groped her breasts then started veering wildly down the road as she fought him, another leaped out of a moving rick and legged it after the driver took her and a teenage friend speeding down some random alley, a friend’s friend was raped while coming home at night.

But hey, Bombay is so safe man. I should SERIOUSLY get over it.

“Dude, I take a rick late at night everyday and I haven’t got raped…”

I always want to respond with the correct ending to that sentence.

“Yet.”

I’m also acknowledging that I’m angry about having to feeling anxious in the first place. I don’t know how that gets fixed. I don’t think it can be.

I can only hope this hoo-hah, this time, isn’t brief and fleeting.

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7 thoughts on “That Ol’ Christmassy Spirit

  1. Bombay is safe? About three days ago, a man slashed a woman he thought was his wife in the middle of a street (Dadar, I think). Two days ago, a guy (23) in his early twenties slashed and stabbed his girlfriend (21) multiple times on one of those skywalky things. A woman in search of her husband was raped by three different men in the same day — three men she’d approached to help find her husband. There was that acid throwing at an ex-girlfriend, the attempted rape and murder of a young female lawyer. While it is true that Bombay FEELS more safe than Delhi, the statistics are looking increasingly gruesome for Bombay.

    • hey you are preaching to the converted, but I’ve had “Bombay is safe” from a variety of sources including Leo. Also the “Nothing has ever happened to me” argument is a frequent one. The stats are dismal. The article about the attitudes of the police made me feel sick.

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