A Women's Day Special
Today, due to their diverse and widespread character, rape incidents are just “Oh, yet again” news and people choose to remain indifferent as long as the pest has crawled into their own domestic periphery. Nevertheless people end up cursing the mortified victim for “bringing this doom upon her family” as if the girl was walking about the streets “asking for it”. Highly debatable in the male community—even amongst the “concerned” religious and political leaders—is the way a woman dresses. But can someone please tell me that how should a three year old or even younger dress—so that the honourable section can have control over their erection process.
Once I asked a child, “Beta, what would you do if a random person comes and snatches away your chocolate? Will you consider him as a brother and let go?” “No, I would fight for my chocolate,” the naïve child replied impulsively. I think Mr. Asaram’s “altruistic” views need a proper reality check on this “brotherhood thing”. Not only him, anybody who thinks that the tragedy could have been avoided on Nirbhaya’s part, needs to know that fighting for the right needs a lot more than just surrendering to the situation. Well, if by chance she would have called the six men her brothers and asked for clemency followed by the shameful incident, Mr. Asaram’s statement would have been: “She was a blessed daughter; her brothers did what they thought was correct to do with her. Her sins are now destroyed and she has attained eternal bliss.” Do we need this nonsense?
Society has always considered men as the sole bread winner of the family and the “protector” of the “inferior” sex—it is only the hero who saves the “destitute and debilitated” heroine—while the heroine is portrayed as appealing and dainty. Because they are “The Protectors”, they gradually and willingly have achieved a greater authority over women. Be it The Draupadi who was gambled or The Sita who was oppugned for her virtue, our glorious mythology itself has established this notion of the “weaker sex”. Ever since, men have deliberately kept alive this tradition; and so has Balaji Telefilms, with their plethora of glycerine-eyed female protagonists marked by their lives of obligations, misery and sacrifice. Today, when a woman crosses her so called “Lakshman Rekha”, she is responsible for the consequences but when a brother murders his own sister for falling in love, it is justifiable because he was apparently utilizing his authority to sustain the (hollow) respect of the family. The question is, why always women? Just because the social instinct is to conceive a woman as “born submissive”, is it so easy to levy her with all the guilt?!
To fancy women as the weaker species is a pleasurable fetish that has been serving as an ego boost for men. From the acquisition of women of the captured territory after a war in the ancient and medieval times, to their unsung role in modern wars—women have been levelled with objects that bring authority to men. The society led by hypocrites may celebrate the survival of a girl from an accident but denies a basic acceptance when the same girl is raped—which is a lot beyond just physical injury. Yet, if the girl decides to gather the shattered parts of her lost self-esteem and confront the world for a judicial justice, it is rather she who is penalized. The world forgets and moves on, the culprit walks away with impunity but the life of the girl (considering he left her with one) is perpetually marred. Bhanwari Devi, Anjana Mishra, Soumya rape and murder case, ring any bells?
Perhaps it is time that the government amends the “Right to Live” to be entitled to only the male citizens of India—the rest half a billion of us are doing just fine.
It is a lot easier to burden a woman with the responsibility of respect and take it away when suited.
It is a lot easier to beat a woman than learning to handle your personal and professional frustrations.
It is a lot easier to forget the misery of a woman than to stand by her and fight for her rights.
It is a lot easier to blame a woman for the disregard she faces than to modify the society.
It is a lot easier to be a man than to be the “Weaker sex”.
This report has been written by Punita Maheshwari, with inputs and editing by Debarati Nandi. Punita and Debarati are interning with NTMN in our Youth Internship and Training Program 2013.