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If a woman is attacked in this country, is a candle-light march the best she can expect? Or will law and society actually act to support her?
“We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be.” – Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
She loved the desolate streets.
She believed her thoughts thrived while walking through the isolated, stark, dark streets.
Today was different. She was ecstatic. She sold her first story.
“I sold my first story, I sold my first story, I sold my first story,” she repeated these lines to herself, grinning widely from one ear to another. What would delight a writer more than that?
Being delusional was one of her occupational hazards, because she totally assumed she was safe to go home. Alone!
As she walked through those streets, she figured someone was following her; she could hear footsteps behind her. Vaguely, but certainly!
What she did not realise was that he would try to harm her. She also did not realise she would use her pepper spray on him. It has been lying around in her bag since two years, but she never had to use it on anyone. After that incident, she did not realise that she would entirely abandon the desolate streets she once loved, look at the men around her in suspicion though they meant no absolute harm. She was safe, but she could not get that incident out of her head.
No surprises there, she did not stay in that quagmire for longer than she intended to. She let go of it, because it was not even worth a thought, if you know what I mean?
This is my story. This is your story. Oh wait, this is the story of your best friend too. I am sure her sister too has a similar story.
This is my story. This is your story. Oh wait, this is the story of your best friend too. I am sure her sister too has a similar story. In a nutshell, this is the story of every woman I meet, and I cannot even put in numbers how many such stories I hear time and again.
“WOMAN! You are not safe,” my family utters every time I decide to go out.
Maybe they are right. Maybe they know if anything ever happens to me, all I would get is a candle march.
I will get nothing else. Zilch. Nada.
However, that would not stop me from doing what I got to do. Actually, it shouldn’t.
This is my two cents to every woman out there:
You are not safe.
If you are assuming you are a sleeping beauty, or some damsel in distress who will be rescued by a Prince Charming, I am sorry but you are mistaken.
If you are secretly hoping the Government would come to your help, you are totally hallucinating.
If you are imagining the people who see you going through the mess come to drag you out of it, you are demented.
They will be sorry, but that is all they will do.
Instead, let us accept that you are not safe. Because it makes our lives simpler!*
Carry two cans of pepper spray cans if you must, but do not go anywhere without it. Keep your phones charged all the time. Let people know where you are.
Download SOS-Stay Safe application to your smartphone. And if you think your parents are stopping you from having fun, let me tell you this – You are not safe!
You are not safe because you live in a country where people worship Goddesses yet prey on the same fraternity.
No matter where you are, do not get worked up. You will need to deal with the situation all by yourself. Your love for yourself must protect you even during the most awful situations because only you can take care of yourself.
Just to get things straight, let me repeat it again for you. You are not safe because you live in a country where people worship Goddesses yet prey on the same fraternity. You are not safe because more than half the population actually consider you as an object of pleasure. You are not safe because the law of your country seems to work against your best interests. Not intentionally, however, not unintentionally either.
But you know you are entitled to be safe.
Because you deserve more than just a godforsaken candle march.
First published at the author’s blog
Woman’s shadow image via Shutterstock
Just a storyteller making memories. Curly. Part obnoxious, part delusional. Prefers books to people. Lives for words and coffee. Plans to go on a holiday every month, and fails miserably. read more...
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Chetan Bhagat had no business slut shaming Uorfi Javed or any other woman. If he wants to 'guide' young men in the 'right direction' then he should take accountability for his words.
Chetan Bhagat, one of India’s bestselling authors, thought it was an ingenious idea to slut-shame Uorfi Javed, an Indian actress and influencer, at the Sahitya Aaj Tak literature festival.
“Phone has been a great distraction for the youth, especially the boys, spending hours just watching Instagram Reels. Everyone knows who Uorfi Javed is. What will you do with her photos? Is it coming in your exams or you will go for a job interview and tell the interviewer that you know all her outfits? On one side, there is a youth who is protecting our nation at Kargil and on another side, we have another youth who is seeing Uorfi Javed’s photos hiding in their blankets.”
Uorfi Javed responded with a video on her Instagram stories calling out Bhagat’s bluff. She shared the screenshots of his previous chat conversations with Ira Trivedi, author and yoga instructor, which came to light during the #MeToo movement.
While boys are taught to naturally own the space they enter, girls are taught to give up, to accommodate, to adjust since "it is their primary responsibility to keep families and relations together."
Yesterday, I was watching these 4 young girls around 16 – 17 years old play badminton. They were having fun, goofing around with all 4 of them equally involved in the game.
In some time two of their male friends joined them, and as part of round robin, the 2 boys replaced two of the girls. All good.
As the play continued, I started noticing a change in the way the game was being played. The shuttle was played most of the times between the two boys and there was a sense of competition and aggression brought in. The other 2 girls playing soon starting losing interest in the game as they hardly got any game time. Even if the shuttle came towards them, the boy in their team would move and play that shot. They soon moved to the sidelines as the boys continued to play.
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