A few days ago I was on my way to my best friend’s house. I have not seen her in a long while and I was half skipping the paces to get to her house, glad that finally we both are free to spend a long time together. So there I was walking happily on the pavement when suddenly a young man, dressed like any regular young man with his sun glasses on and a jacket in his hand, walks out of the garden (we have an awful lot of gardens in my neighborhood) that lines the pavement I was walking on.
The only difference was that I saw he was walking with only his groin exposed (if you get my drift).
I don’t know how I did it, but suddenly I was hurrying along the opposite pavement, for a moment feeling that I was walking with bloodless body. An invasion of numbness.
I am not here to tell you how I felt then, because what I felt can’t be described without getting violent or disrespectful in words. And that is not my style.
But I will give you a hint. I felt dirty, I felt that everybody on the street knew what has happened, I imagined that every pair of eyes was looking at me with contempt, thinking me low… thinking that I had asked for it!
This isn’t something a girl can easily get over, especially a girl like me, who have encountered sexual harassment before. For a whole week I kept waking up with the image of that young man hitting me in the head upon opening my eyes. I swear!
I am not scarred by it, I am not afraid to go out into the streets. I am only felt with mortal rage.
Mum raised me to worship two things in this life; Allah and respect. And I have dealt with everything with respect allowing no one to step over me in the process. But to be VIOLATED like that when I have done absolutely nothing to earn it, and WORSE to not being able to do anything about it.
It made me hate and curse myself. I should have yelled, called him names, made a scene. I should have demanded that he be insulted the way he insulted me. He should have been made an example of!
I am here, because I am every girl and woman. I am the victim, and I am best friend with a childhood friend who came across such sordidness a week before I did.
And I want to do something about it. I want to yell it, tell every one. I want to stand on a stage with the entire university gathered before me, and tell them how a woman really feels when something so dirty happens. And I want it heard in every language, because this … this… I respect you too much to say what this really is.
And I wanna know why.
I want to do it, because now written words are as good as silence.
But I won’t be able to do t alone.
I don’t care when, I don’t care how, and I don’t give a damn what people may say or think. Something simply has to be done, we are on the verge of writing a new history, and not speaking up about such a thing I believe is plain cowardice. A new definition of retardation.