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”When I sat in my parents’ shiny new Honda that they were so proud of, they asked me about my flight, and then asked me if I was ready to get married. My parents didn’t allow me to leave the house alone after dark, because India was not safe for women, and I didn’t know my way around the city.
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The leaders acknowledged that the government and the police had failed.
Some of the things we already knew were spoken out loud.
I learned how to sit at a big round table and say things in a way that made it seem like I knew what I was talking about, and soon enough I was able to make a convincing argument about pretty much anything.
I also learned how to drink irresponsibly and still live to experience the hangover the next day. What changed the most for me, though, was how I thought about my own country.
India wasn’t made for women, so what, I had to live, right? 16, 2012, a girl who became known as Nirbhaya, meaning “fearless,” was gang-raped, tortured and beaten by six men on a bus in South Delhi.
She was twenty-three years old, a physiotherapy intern, and was coming home from watching a movie with her friend on the night of her assault.
After graduating from Bard later that year, I went on to work at a private boarding school in a small city in New England as a high school math teaching fellow.
The program was a two-year fellowship, through which I earned a master’s degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania.