There’s an Internet meme that goes “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore”. People post it when they hear or see something that makes them so disgusted with things that they see that they sincerely wish that they could live somewhere else where they could say that they are members of the human race anymore.
As a woman, there are things that I see and hear happening to women that make me feel this way. This month, a woman in India was beheaded because her father was displeased with her lifestyle and two sisters in Trinidad were killed when they refused a man a drink of rum, while earlier this year, a girl in Morocco killed herself after being forced to marry her rapist.
Is there an upsurge in the amount of violence being perpetrated against women currently, or is that I never noticed it before? Every week there seems to be another story of women being beaten, raped, mutilated or killed somewhere in the world… and these are only the stories that make it into the media.
I don’t feel safe more than half the time. Trinidad and Tobago is always regarded as having some of the friendliest people in the Caribbean, but the incident with the two sisters makes me wonder. There’s an older man who lives in my area who was tracking me pretty hard when I moved in here until I had to tell him that I wasn’t interested because he’s at least 20 years older than me and, I found out, had 6 children with different women. He was very persistent though but I finally managed to make it stick, though I had to get very forceful with him.
Now, looking back, I don’t know how I had the courage, because for all that I knew, he could have taken my rejection badly and gotten violent with me at some point. If he had been of the same mindset as the two young men, would I be alive today? It’s depressing to know that not only do I have to worry about how to react to people, but also that reacting the wrong way could possibly get me killed.