Sunday, January 13, 2013

Needless to say but...

Not that I am too emotionally overloaded particularly because of the Delhi rape case. But certainly the views that have come up in open in the past one month makes me write again on this. Yes I am overloaded because of the alarming situation. This is not a stray case, our national capital has also been the rapist paradise for years now and slowly other cities are also catching up. From my Delhi friends as well as my stay for few months in Ghaziabad and various adjacent areas, I do know how women cope up there. As a woman living various phases of my life in Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, I have also faced eve-teasing and have learnt to consider the security factor, always. Villages aka Bharat is sill safe or they say so, just because Police stations are far away or actually non-existent, and people don’t report most of the cases because "izzat ka sawal hai".Not that these views of politicians, media, spiritual gurus(high on spirits) and common man, including me, were not at all known before, but certainly the nation seems to react now. And hence comes my second post on particularly the topic of why girls should not provoke guys, should not stay late, should not party, in short , stay back, stay out of the mess to avoid getting trapped in the mess.

After reading through various channels, what I discover is the main reason behind these people telling the women to dress properly or "behave" is that they feel today's women's actions titillate the man. The man with his innate carnal desires and unadulterated innocence is simply not able to control his feelings and ends up eve-teasing, molesting, and raping. Now in most cases it is seen that girls who are perfectly decently clothed get raped. So this has to be definitely 2nd order titillation. So this bechara guy, who generally comes from the uneducated, socially deprived background, comes to a modern city, sees lot of micro-mini clad girls and gets provoked. He knows he cannot get most of these women. But simply because these women have done the crime of provoking the guy, now that he is turned on, he ends up raping another girl who has nothing to do with this "inviting" nature of girls. Now that brings me to question few things:
  1. If wearing lesser clothes is provoking etc, then would the TV commercials stop showing skin for the ads of every single product on earth. Be it deos, briefs, cookware .
  2. Would guys give up their share of watching porn to keep them away from all ill-effects?
  3. Would movies be banned for showing rape scenes and item numbers that increase their viewership to manifolds’?
  4. Would all adult movies be banned?
  5. Would Internet be censored?
Even all this doesn’t ensure completeness of the theory.Titilation may be different for different people. And guys may have their own interpretation of whether a woman is inviting or not. Some common theorems are:
  1. If a woman is wearing skimpy clothes, she is inviting. Even if she says "No", the first interpretation is above all
  2. If a woman has had multiple relationships in her life, with some of them even intimate, she is definitely slut.Hence inviting. Are relationships and forced ones same?
  3. If a woman is staying late at night, if she is a party hopper, she is inviting. Well the premises of night are strictly not meant for girls who don’t want to get raped. The vice versa is also true.
  4. If a woman is a single woman-unmarried (post the standard age of marriage), divorcee (oh!!That’s why!!), widow (unlucky one) that is w/o a legitimate male owner, then she must be inviting.
  5. If she does not "listen", if she is adamant, if she is helpless(hence needed some help), if she is working late nights, if she is a boss' favorite, if she has got a promotion too soon, even, if she tries to be a man(hence needed to be reprimanded).....the list is endless.Also cannot help asking if a slut not have the right to say "No" ?
Agreed on the fact that 90% of our population comes from the economic and social "have not" category. They neither have the enlightened thought processes like us-the middle class or the access to every possible luxury on earth like the rich. But this provoking theorem makes only these “have not’s” take the onus of being lecherous and ill charactered.Have we forgotten Priyadarshini Mattoo case? Don’t the "high profile", "born pub trotting" men happen to see girls around them in skimpy clothes all the time? Then what titillates them? Or they are immune to all kinds of frustration and brutality?
Now come on, man and woman have always mutual attaction.Thats normal. A man may like a woman or vice versa. But then it’s important to understand and respect her "No". If we are to make an impact and make our surroundings more secure, we need to be inclusive of the 90% also. And changing the way girls look, dress, behave, just not to make the "have not" guys shocked, doesn’t solve the problem. There is no end to it. For a man who has bad intentions, irrespective of the fact whether they come from village, are not accustomed to see city girls or whatever, clothes and all are external factors and there can be thousands more. These cannot be controlled. What can be controlled is improving the framework of security, judicial system and providing a better atmosphere at home, better and sensible education.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Freedom today and one day...

For a while now India has seen an upheaval in protesting against crime against women. Yet, everyday newspapers are flooded with all sorts of such crime. Is it that these crimes were present all the time and it is only now that they have gained importance to make a place in the first page? Or is it, men actually are finding it to difficult to restrict their carnal desires? The weirdest comments like "Why the girl was scantily dressed", "why she was alone”, and “she must have provoked men" have made place in front pages also. This makes me think, if this kind of mindset is shared by a larger section in our society or not. Also what goes inside the minds of people who do such heinous crimes? Is it really the carnal part of it or is it something more to that? Most of these people have steady partners or else there are ample red light areas too.

Rape or molestation is the extreme case where a girl's self respect is crushed to the most brutal extent. But it is our social structure that makes this experience even worse to her. And surprisingly, some people, including women do think that dying is a better option. The definition of self respect might be different for different people and the impact also might differ, but this is one point where many would agree. And that's because "life after rape" is worse than “no life “at all. Thanks to the modern outlook. So when it comes to taking revenge on a girl, rape is the simplest solution. In fact, Hindu devtas have also somehow endorsed this fact.Indra still remains Indra after all-King of devtas!!In every bit of history, mythology or whatever, men have shown their irresistible lust for women and tried to get her with or without her consent. And every time it is other men who came to save her too. Be it Sita, Draupadi, Ahalyaa.Yes, women are too feeble to say "no", protect themselves, and take revenge. When he is a protector, he is the heroic, brave man. When he is the molester, he is bound by his natural instincts-simplest explanations of all. So be it the destroyer or protector it's "THE MAN”. And the things start looking simpler. This cannot be the case where a man wants to molest a woman, it is because this is one thing where he can inflict a lifelong pain to her and yet his subconscious will not make him mad with guilt. Somewhere deep in his heart, he knows, this why women were made after all!!

A girl from her very childhood is taught to play with dolls, make her dummy family, and wait for husband. Her entire world is some pseudo husband. A boy is taught to be the "maa baap ka budapey ka laathi", the Mr. dependable. From the very childhood, the upbringing of a girl takes away the power to make decisions .From watching her mother and other women in the family she learns that to succumb is "the way”. In a country where marital rape is not rape, what else can be said!! She knows that the only way she can get things done is use her beauty, feminine skills,"rona dhona".But if she dare says that something is her right, that's too much like audacity. Even educated, well earning women are prone to this. For example, many women claim that they do not want a very good job that demands extra hours and rather they would prefer a cushier one, because it’s their choice. Gosh!!Choice is applicable only when you have the option!!Will their family actually say "yes" if they opted for the more demanding one? And without a "yes" do they have the guts to live life at their own terms? Freedom doesn’t lie in boasting but it’s a way of life. And sadly  our social structure doesn’t support much of the idea of a woman living at her own terms. In every marriage proposal, even now, be it love or arranged, it is the girl's beauty, ability to compromise, and a decent education that's monetarily not so great and of course less than the groom's is taken into consideration. Matrimony ads still contain words like "We are very modern and will allow our bahu to work". There is no greatness in "allowing" a free person to do something. The other day  I heard a mother recite tales to her little daughter, every tale being so much marriage-husband centric, I realized that my childhood tales always had me as the main character, and how my mom used to change all the "heroes" to a girl .And I always learned to blame Rama for his leaving Sita.Shouldn't respect be earned?

So men, by default are respectful. When people say why she wore mini skirts, or why she stayed late, I agree that in today's social and judicial structure it makes very unsafe for women. But instead of saying why she stayed late at night, shouldn’t we say why it is not safe to stay at night? Is this just to manifest that "men will be men" and rest of the world take care of themselves? Is there not somewhere imbibed the urge to look down the entire fairer sex and make them stay back. Is it not again the age old power game that's behind every war, every economic issues or every choice?(apart from the ones made because of love). May be some part of men are really frightened by the fact that women are taking hold of a part of their "rightful share" of resources, jobs, money, respect and so on. Doesn't the kind of self proclaimed deep rooted decision making habit transform into other forms of crime for men who are not so educated, who come from very dark backgrounds? Can we blame only those men or should we not take steps to educating our sons and daughters equally right at home? For daughters, to teach them that there is nothing to feel guilty or afraid about to state what they want, to make their own choices, to stay happy w/o leading a husband oriented life. For sons, that their sisters and female friends also deserve the same freedom, nutrition, respect, education, financial independence as they do and there is nothing great or abnormal in it. This is the way it should be. For the husband, that he should treat his wife as companion , friend, partner and not be himself the  owner and that, it is shameful to say that "I don’t do household chores”. For the wife to stop living in a false sense of freedom, to raise her voice, to stop the everlasting "rona dhona" and feminine tricks, to lead a guilt free life. For every bystander, that he/she is not a bystander and is as active as anybody else to make this society a better place to live. For all movie and serial makers, to stop showing the "ideal bahus" in their stupid daily soaps/movies, for political leaders to come out of the extra secure cordons that they have and see what goes outside, for the judicial and law enforcement system to remember that it is not ideal that women should stay back at home at night or cover themselves in veils to escape from brutality, but it is their duty to provide a secure city to women.For everyone to believe that "Freedom is our birth right”.