I was angry about the hypocrisy. People fear the bomber’s religion and scream that he and “his kind” want to inflict a set of foreign and restrictive rules upon the rest of society that among other things govern how women and girls may behave, all the while not seeing shades of the same treatment happen under their own noses when a girl is reprimanded for a slipping bra-strap but a rapist is given a light sentence, or none, because it might “ruin his future.”
If you hear about these sorts of tragedies and urge others to have empathy by arguing, “What if she were your daughter, sister, etc.,” you have equated a girl’s worth to her relationship with others rather than giving her the ownership and autonomy that she deserves.
And that’s why I’m so angry — angry that these girls can’t put this in a context of social mores and history and culture because they don’t have the benefit of age and perspective that will show them that that attack in Manchester is just another extreme instance of all the little injustices that they will discover as they grow up. And I am angry that they will have to fight— not against terrorism per se but against the smoke that they breathe every day, against the underlying belief of so many cultures: that they aren’t allowed because they are girls.
Tiffani Angus is a writer and university lecturer in Cambridge, United Kingdom, and a former Dayton resident.