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The simple act of walking on the streets reminds us that we are not truly free. Here’s a take on the freedom to walk.
The #FreedomIs campaign asked readers to share their idea of what freedom is, and what freedoms they wanted, through a selfie with a message. The results were varied and beautiful. You can see the collection of #FreedomIs selfies here. Don’t forget to send in your own!
I am a big believer in freedom – all kinds of freedom. It can be to eat, drink, dress, to choose your lifestyle, partner, religion etc, The list is endless. If it makes you happy, you do it! It is freedom for you. Live and let live. I was shaken from this so called freedom of mine when I discovered that like so many other things in our country, this freedom too, is misleading.
I was walking on the posh walking plaza near my house last week. I do it occasionally; I am not a regular walker and that is my freedom – to walk whenever I want to, at whatever time I want to, and whereever I want to.
I am on the verge of 40 and nowhere close to the “Yummy Mummy” that the media wants us mummies to become. While I am out for my walk, I am the opposite – overweight, unruly hair, sweaty, and maybe just about pretty average to look at. As I tried to get into the rhythm of my walk, hoping to shed my lethargy and a couple of kilos with my brisk walkimg, I realised a few truths
You go the hospital, an orderly or clerk will accost you in a corner. You go to the mall, the watchman will act funny. The lift man tries to be too friendly. The place could be an office, school, market, tailor-shop, swimming pool (god forbid it is a public pool), ration shop, movie hall, a bus or train, or the endless places where a lady might need to go.
Where is the freedom if I cannot walk freely in my own neighbourhood? Where is the freedom if I fear abuse and rape at every step I take? Where is the freedom if I cannot dress as I please? Where is the freedom if men cannot respect our choices?
For me, #FreedomIs walking free.
Pic credit: HowardIgnatius (Used under a CC license)
Freelance Fiction and non-fiction editor, author and book bee.
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Very true, there is no freedom….
I wonder when we women can be truly free. Well said, Inderpreet.
I agree, Thank you Shailaja.
Sad but true. I hope it changes in our lifetime.
I hope so too Laurel, Thank you.
It’s ridiculous how some men behave… One of my friends was slapped right on the butt while she was walking, by a guy on passing motorbike. U expressed the angst.of many women.
It is such immoral and disgusting behavior that needs to be changed. Thank you Rajlakshmi.
So sad that men can’t behave, well most of them…it’s too much..makes me so angry!
It makes all of us angry but we hope this attitude will change. As mothers we need to teach our children too. Thank you Nabanita.
I don’t deny any of this, and it is pretty sad that such behaviour happens. But a part of me also tells me that perhaps it is time we women simply stop paying attention to such oglers, sometimes I feel they are doing this non-sense to attract attention and when they are able to get the attention of the woman they feel more smug and vicious. Or maybe start staring back at them with mean expression. But yes, when things go beyond staring/ogling, more serious action is required. I think so much of this problem can be solved if boys are raised right…
Your words are so true and the need of the hour. The mindset of a generation needs to be changed. Thank you for your wise words Beloo
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