The power of collective rage


That's what hit me today as I looked around the blogosphere. It was full of posts, poems, notes and memories of eve teasing / harrassment because of the Blank Noise blog-a-thon on street harrassment.

I was sceptical at first. Much as I believe in the power of the written word, I thought the posts would be too few. I thought only the female readers would care. I had underestimated the power of empathy. This is something that all women go through. The blogosphere resounded with many, many voices. Surprisingly, many men also read these posts and commented. Some even participated by posting their own thoughts and experiences on harrassment.

The posts were difficult to read sometimes because they were intensely personal, wrenchingly honest, and universally true. Some of them had me biting my lips fiercely, trying not to cry. Some of them had me clenching my fists in helplessness and anger. But all of them made me feel a sense of unity with other women out there. The sense that we are all the same in some ways. In making us all think, write and read about it at the same time, the blog-a-thon created a feeling of shared truth and anger.

The fact that the nature of harrassment is so familiar should make it easier to fight. After all, it's not one pitifully voice tentatively bringing it up. It's a chorus of protests, a collective howl of rage. It should make it easier to fight. But we haven't been able to so far. Is it because we haven't been loud enough? Explicit enough? Clear enough? Consistent enough?

The thing is: tomorrow - or a week later - we'll go back to our daily lives. We will not forget about it (how can we?), but we will push it to the back burner.

And that's exactly what we should not do. Because some types of rage are good. Some types of rage can change things. And therefore, they are necessary.

Fan the flames then.

Action Hero Anindita Sen Gupta

Blank Noise: Solution v0.1a