No one left to speak

Several years ago, I joined a new school. The term had already began and I was all kinds of anxious.
In my first week, we were given a test. The results came back and it turned out I had the highest grade.
It was after this occurrence that I realised I was the only girl in the Geography class and had just ‘broken a law.’
Apparently, there was a monopoly on who could achieve this feat. One of the students walked up to me and asked me if I had seen the questions in advance (of course! I used the holiday to hack into the system)
His question was more innocent than the next encounter. I overheard two of the boys (whom I later found out were the brightest ones in the class) plotting my downfall. Their brilliant idea was that one of them would make me fall  for him and thus distract me from school work. I fail. They take their positions back. Everyone is happy.

What they did not know is that I understood the ‘foreign’ language they spoke so I heard everything.
Would this have happened if a new boy in school got a good grade? I wonder
All these years later and I have never told them. I did not think I would achieve much.
There are some things that happen to you only because you are female, and others don’t. Even when you are walking idly oblivious of your fully covered bust and behind, cat calling will happen and then you will be reminded.
Whether you are a great mother, amazing orator or emerging scientist, the moment a random guy yells “Akabina kapapala” (what is the appropriate translation?), you become just that-a woman with a yell-worthy kabina(butt).

So, when I get up one morning and watch an exchange in which grown men are asking for and happily sharing the latest nudes released by a jilted lover, I silently weep for the children I shall bring into this world and those already in it.
An innocent woman is going to go for a job interview and this prospective employer will undress her-literally. Her naked body lies neatly saved in a special folder on his computer. Is her MBA still up for extensive discussion?

Could these cowards find more civil ways to ‘revenge’ on their exes? *If they must* No? This is really how we are going to continue doing it?
As for those who share the pictures and go on to inform the public about the size of certain features or the absence of sound well knowing this was illegally availed… Isn’t porn readily available? It has consenting adults and you can binge on it in every form.

Still, we would rather destroy our own. Both men and women do it anyway so it is somehow okay?
If we received these damming materials and didn’t share them, would we lose a lung? Ever ask yourself why it is you whom people are so comfortable bringing others down with?
And what is this I hear “She could be your sister, wife, girlfriend, mother..? How about what she actually is. A fellow human being. Period. Is that not enough anymore?
I am puzzled by our desire to bring others down; to easily believe that Sasha slept her way to the top but argue till dawn at the thought that she is simply a brilliant accountant who has worked since she was a teenager to get to where she is now.
The moment we sense success, we quickly back it with a conspiracy theory and if we are ‘lucky’ some evidence too.
Maybe John had a rich dad but it’s his own hard work and resilience that kept the family business successful long after his father’s death.
Jenny might have impossibly long legs that make heads turn but that is not why she made partner at her firm.
She burns the midnight oil to prevent those exact thoughts, to prove that she has earned everything she has.
Nope. These stories do not make for good gossip. Why spread such truth when you can bask in tales of everyone else’s downfall?
Everything comes down to choice really.
You can choose to condemn corrupt officials by day and bribe your son before bedtime and the local policeman tomorrow morning
You could publicly support women empowerment and  then happily share every woman’s nude picture a jilted ex releases, batter your wife and bully your colleagues
You can choose your standpoint on issues based on what the masses agree with and not the deserving minorities.
That is okay.
It is your choice.
One day when it comes down to something you actually believe in, or someone you care about, I hope that there will be some voices left.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me