This one of my all time favorite passages and quotes. Although it’s about India (yes, I’m smitten) and the need for self defense– and more specifically about the legacy of the Divine Warrior Goddess Kali; a lusty creator and destructress with multiple avenging limbs –it’s really about All Of Us. It speaks to the urgency and power of WHY women across the globe need to re-inflame their innate capacity for self protection. Make that aggressive self protection.
The author of this passage is an Indian-American MALE, a writer and blogger named Suman Palit. (Written in 2002 but still relevant.) Read it. Everywhere you see “India” or “subcontinent” simply insert your own town /city/ zip code / land.
Open your mind, feast your eyes and mainline this wisdom:
“Giving women the tools of self-defense is quite possibly, the only solution that will work. It will not be easy, after all, any misogynistic male will shiver at the thought of facing an angry, possibly armed woman unwilling to submit to his violence. I believe it must happen…
Women empowered to defend themselves are their own best hope while the subcontinent smolders under centuries of repressed cultural warfare. The hope for this region rests on the effectiveness with which they can participate in civil society. The first step towards that is to make their uncivil husbands and fathers a little more careful of employing tactics of thuggery against them. Martial wisdom must be reseeded in their consciousness, their world-view. They must become stronger, more vocal, less ashamed of their gender, less fearful of the world. Then, and only then, will more generations of little boys grow to be men accustomed to women conducting themselves as equals..
India is a land where its people have chosen to forget, ignore or otherwise denigrate the powerful legacy of Kali, with her hands bristling with weapons, her garland of severed heads of tyrants and butchers, her fearless, growling rage born of innocence defiled. She is woman, she is earth, she is the fire that burns through the rotting brush of our societies. She rampages naked in all her primal innocence, her feminity, her sexuality, her raw, deep-bellied power for all of us to see, fear and to revere.
There is a Kali in every Indian woman, just sleeping, drugged by centuries of patriarchal propaganda. It’s time for her to wake up, put her foot down, and draw her weapons from their scabbards.”