It has become exceedingly clear to me recently that I have an exceptional conceptual understanding. I am a learned individual, with a diversity of experiences more than most of the people around me. I have put in an incredible amount of work into my education and personal development.
But damn, I wish I could share how much hurt you have to face the moment you try and be seen an intellectual in the world – while not being a very privileged or good looking Indian woman.
I have been hurting myself for a long time to try and disregard this aspect of my being – my intelligence. When it is the biggest strength that I have.
The internalisation happened by constantly hearing how cocky I am, how condescending I am, how I have a superiority complex – whereas I have quite literally never been that person at all. I obviously have been an asshole to those who absolutely deserve it. Is that my place to judge? Yes. If you’ve been an asshole to me, I can detail out exactly how inhumane you were simply because your ego was threatened. And then how you were an even more painful dick by constantly reasserting my confidence was god complex.
My rage, temper and passion has always been misinterpreted to mean violence, opposition, argumentative nature. Maybe it was that a lot of times because my god people test my patience. Can you imagine being questioned constantly on your authenticity when you’re actually the realest motherfucker in the room? I stopped clarifying myself a long time ago.
In this respect, I CAN NOT even begin describing how much I hate Indian dudes. Their sexism really surpasses any benchmark for humanity. Its unclear only to them why they are sexist/classist/casteist. Its very obvious to anyone else. Indian men took toxic masculinity to the bank and cashed it. Now when we’re openly questioning their behaviour, they’re piling on us a lot of apologist bullshit to seek kind forgiveness. When in fact a lot of them deserve persecution.
The worst is when privileged women buy into their rhetoric and support their voices. This to me is a serious problem because it reinforces the idea that women are not the experts of their experiences. I am insanely troubled by how an “expert” validation of women’s issues is absolutely required and then always solicited from people who have not faced those issues. As far as these expert opinions work, hypothesis creation is where the bias immediately sets in. The proofs are not very difficult to derive in such wide-ranged social studies. It is my constant contention – these hypotheses are uninformed because they are from marginally experienced people. And even I know I am being very kind in my criticism here.
I really want to fight against this idea that a certain specific education is required for validation of social truths. I think we need to start understanding how to derive intelligence from people who have not been brought up in the established language systems. Reformation of the Indian education system is a favorite topic for every person who wants to seem savvy. But they all fail to see that personal education is independent of institutions. Even in that we fail to study and read for developing more empathy. We instead keep focussing on areas of study which will improve our social standing and salaries.
I’ve been on a really long journey where I’ve constantly been trying to build my personal comprehension. It has been a bit of a stubborn attitude of “I’ll show them” that has driven this. The backlash to my personal expressions from assholes I grew up with was the trigger. I didn’t care if I was enrolled to study engineering or business, it didn’t matter to me if I excelled at it. I wanted to know law, art, literature and more. I didn’t want to be an expert but develop a language which could do justice to my diverse experience. I am now eternally grateful to those assholes for creating this individual I can love and respect. They meanwhile continue their attempts to dilute my individuality, but you know what, I am a master now. A master of channelling my rage and confusion. An expert at determined self improvement. I shit you not, only the reaper can stop me. And the reaper is a friend.