Check out 16 Return-To-Work Programs In India For Ambitious Women Like You!
When feminist ideals clash with the ground realities, do we all become hypocrites? This piece about the safety of women will hit too close to home, and hard.
When feminist ideals of freedom to choose clash with the ground realities of gender violence, do we all become hypocrites? This piece about the safety of women will hit too close to home, and hard.
There are days when I am at constant battle with myself. I’ll explain what I mean, just bear with me.
I am against victim-blaming. I know that it is never ever a victim’s fault. Never. I know that clothes don’t cause rape; I know that it is my right to go where I want, be with whoever I want, wear whatever I, want and do whatever I want. And when idiotic men tell women to not wear jeans or shorts for safety, I get angry. Very angry. But when I am out in the city, my feminist ideals clash with my need to protect myself.
If I get late coming back home, I prefer to spend some extra cash and book myself a cab or stay at a friend’s place. I prefer not to come back home at 11:30 pm all by myself even though I know I have the right to be out at night like any man does. I choose not to wear shorts if I suspect I won’t have a friend drop me home at the end of an evening. I carry a jacket in my bag on days I wear a top that shows some skin. I decline invites when I am not sure how I’ll get home.
I didn’t really want to spend that money, I love wearing shorts, and I might even have enjoyed that party. Nobody asked me to not go. But I still choose to do these things. And you know what? I even hate myself for doing it.
I hate that everything I just confessed to, goes against everything I believe in, and though this isn’t exactly victim-blaming, it is no better. Who am I even kidding? I know very well that none of these things I do—like texting my boyfriend the license number of the cab I’m in—would do me any good if someone were to actually decide to assault me. It might make the job of finding the perpetrator easy, but it won’t really stop him from doing it.
I think that I’ll be okay if a male friend drops me home, but both Jyoti and the survivor of the Shakti Mills gangrape were with a male companion who were beaten up in the process—one man can’t fight off five. I think if I cover myself up, I would attract less attention, even though I know that my clothes have absolutely no bearing on the workings of a sick, criminal mind.
I think if I cover myself up, I would attract less attention, even though I know that my clothes have absolutely no bearing on the workings of a sick, criminal mind.Never miss real stories from India's women.Register Now
I think if I cover myself up, I would attract less attention, even though I know that my clothes have absolutely no bearing on the workings of a sick, criminal mind.
At times like these, I am basically falling back on all the misogynistic moral policing that boils my blood. Sure, it’s not khap panchayat bad—I eat chowmien and wear jeans—but it’s bad.
I know gender policing is a disgusting way to control and subjugate women and make them believe it’s their fault. But I have been self-policing myself ever since I grew up. I don’t really wear whatever I want or go wherever I want. No. I decide what I’m going to wear according to my mode of transport on that particular day. I set my curfews myself so that I don’t end up trying to look for an auto home late night.
Because my safety is my priority. Not the Government’s and not Delhi Police’s. It ought to be their priority as well and I should feel safe in my city, but it’s not and I don’t.
Because there are disgusting people out there—people who rape little kids, people who throw acid at girls, people who just want to touch you in public because that somehow gives them a high.
Because there are parents who brought up their sons to believe that women are inferior to them and their daughters to ‘toe the line’, because if girls get raped, they’re taught that it’s their fault.
Because this country does not respect women. This country doesn’t protect its women. I know this sounds neurotic, but I don’t want to be a number in a statistic.
The point is that at times, I don’t feel safe doing the things I know I have the right to do, because this is not a perfect world. And I choose to cover myself or find another option. And even though I know that none of these are going to stop an assaulter, I still do them to make myself believe that I’ll be safe.
Does that make me a hypocrite?
Pic credit: LotusCaroll (Used under a CC license)
Bookworm, feminist, foodie--not particularly in that order. Twitter: @sweta_pal89 read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
It is easy to give in to patriarchal expectations from a married woman and lose your self in a marriage, but the path to happiness is in keeping your independence.
Marriage is often described as the joining of two individuals’ bodies, minds, and souls. Upon getting married, you are expected to share everything with your partner, including time, money, and all other aspects of life. Your life should revolve around your spouse from beginning to end.
But is it necessary to spend every waking moment with the spouse? Are you not supposed to have a life apart from your spouse? And do these rules apply only to women or men as well?
Although both men and women may face this situation, women are generally expected to give up everything once they get married. Despite progress in several areas, expecting women to abandon their interests, passions, and friendships to align their lives with those of their spouses is still considered the norm.
The rising numbers of single women choosing this life shout out clear and loud that patriarchy and sexism will no longer break or chain us.
Another book on singlehood? It seems to be the season for books on the joys and freedom of being single. But Demystifying and Dignifying Singlehood: Life Journeys of Single Women Across the Globe by Uma Jain is different. The book does not glorify or glamourise the lives of single women in any way. These are real stories – with the good, the bad and the ugly, all there.
The book tells the stories of 15 single women across the world. A feeling of deep understanding and empathy fills you as you read the book and understand the challenges faced by the women who are single – by choice or chance. Some of the women chose to be single because they faced discrimination and even abuse as girl children. Some others had abusive marriages and sought divorce.
The tag line ‘Crafting pathways on rough terrains’ on the cover page is enough to tell you that this is a serious take on the issue of singlehood. If it focuses more on the rough than the smooth, that has been the reality for the 15 women.
Please enter your email address