When a woman says NO, she means NO, even if she might seem fair game to those who think she should subscribe to society’s idea of propriety to be respected!
The recently released movie, ‘Pink’ is a must see for all women. The movie clearly shows how misogyny is deeply entrenched in our society.
As per the patriarchal society we live in, there is a set mold within which a woman should fit. If she doesn’t follow certain rules or a set pattern, her character is questioned. This movie only brings forward what some of us face on a daily basis.
A few years back British journalist Leslee Udwin made a documentary called, ‘India’s Daughter’. Though it was not allowed to be aired, the youtube video of it went viral.
It had the interview of one of Nirbhaya’s killers. There was a complete lack of remorse at his end. He was of the opinion that if a girl chose to wear jeans, and go out in night with a man, she was a fair game. It was chilling to realise the kind of mind set Indian men have.
One may argue that he was not educated and illiteracy is the root of the issue. However that is not true. I remember some years back, when I was still unmarried, I had a rather nasty colleague. He had once said to me, “You are the kind of girl, who is fit to be a girlfriend, but not a wife.” His analysis was based on the fact that I wore western clothes, went out in the nights with my friends which included males and was vocal about my dislikes. My only response to him had been, “I pity the girl who will marry you.”
Unfortunately this man belonged to the so-called young India, who are modern in their thinking and living. However, this so-called contemporary thinking is limited to the western brands they wear and sleek cars they drive in. Their thinking is still medieval and backward.
I have still not understood why there should be different set of rules for men and women. If a boy goes out late, drinks, wears latest fashion he is considered cool, however, if a girl does the same things she is branded as the scarlet woman. Gender bias cannot be wiped out till this mind set is not removed.
This can happen only when a woman can roam around free in the night without worrying about what she is wearing or where she is going. When she can be sure that the people she has chosen to be with will not become predators suddenly.
This transition will have to begin right from the grass root level. Every boy should be taught by his parents, teachers and other elders he looks up to, so that he learns that men and women are equal. It does not matter how she chooses to lead her life or what her likes and dislikes are, it does not give him a right to judge her. She is a thinking, functioning human with decision making powers just like he is.
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