Thursday, January 23, 2014

Little acts of defiance in the war against the feminine

There are some days I don’t want to live in this world.

I woke up to a torrent of opinion about a sports journalist who covered a story of a newly developed putter. He gradually came to understand that its inventor was a transsexual woman, and this discovery became the focal point of the story. The woman concerned begged him not to out her as a transsexual, and he ignored her. 
And then she killed herself.

Endless articles all over the internet condemning the journalist concerned; a few defending him.

What haunts me is the suffering of the woman concerned: of the fact she loathed herself so profoundly for being transsexual that she was prepared to die rather than live to see the fact disclosed.

And I think of yesterday’s murder - a transwoman in Venezuela whose skull was cracked open by a heavey stone (

I wonder where today’s will be.

And I think of the massive growth in the incidence of female genital mutilation in the UK (; I think of the case of the young woman in Birbhum, West Bengal, gang raped by up to 15 men as punishment for having entered into a relationship with a young man the village elders disapproved of (

That one gave me a special shudder of recognition because I have been there. It was a village in that district I visited and then used as the back drop for my Light In The Village in which a young woman was raped by the rich man in the village to punish her for not knowing her subordinate place in the world.

And I think of my translation of Bintou, Koffi Kwahulé’s beautiful and angry play about a young girl bleeding to death after a clitoridectomy inflicted on her to curb her rebellion.

These are all such tiny acts of defiance in this terrible war against the feminine; acts which count for so very little but which I somehow cling to.

Cling to because somehow they nourish tiny seeds of hope.

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