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Even ordinary men enjoy a degree of freedom that they take for granted. A luxury for any woman. Imagine, if you could have the same? Prapti Aggarwal writes a thoughtful post.
Okay, can you imagine what would it be like to not worry about the next tree/bush on a long drive to answer nature’s call? Or, roam bare chest ? No, I’m not speaking to you, Mr. I’m speaking to you, Ms.
You feel like saying ‘wtf!’ , don’t you? I understand. I am a girl. But have you ever thought what it would be like to go out for a smoke at 10 in night in Gurgaon? Or, not change a T-shirt because an extra inch of your skin shows?
Ok, so try and imagine not being on an all-time mental alert when you are in a crowd worrying about a disgusting touch that would spoil the day. Or, imagine planning just another holiday on first impulse without having to worry about safety.
Still can’t, can you? But, you would want to, right? Or have we stopped wishing too ?!
To be honest, it did not occur to me that I lived in a world not so just or if I take the judgement out of my tone, a world which treated different genders differently until one day during a conversation, my friend told me how women roamed topless on a beach in Italy. Of course, a teenager from a tier 3 city as I was, I went all ‘:o’..’:-|’..:-?’..’:-/////’ . His next words stayed ‘Why are you so shocked? Had you always been taught about changing clothes as openly as your brother, it would not have come as a shock, isn’t it?’
I pondered over the statement, realising a ‘yes’ in my mind, and felt strangely awkward at the quiet convenience with which these biggest of differences were normalized in my life as a woman. I looked around and I could see so many things that did not hold equally true for my brother. His life was different. I am not referring to a gender bias within the family. I am fortunate to have never experienced that overtly, but yes that he did not have to ask for a night out with friends, think twice about a late night birthday party and many such things.
And now, Mr, listen to me, since you were so interested in what I was saying earlier!
Have you ever thought how a girl feels when some random man, out of his lust/ desperation or whatever sickness that is, brushes his arm with hers on pretext of an accident?
Allow me to tell you, for that slightest intentional touch, if I had a gun in my hand right at that moment, I would shoot you, without any second thoughts and regrets (read and take literally). This is exactly the level of abhorrence and I deal it with more frequently that you can imagine.
Or, consider this. What would it be like to always think that may be 8 p.m. is not an appropriate time to leave for a walk alone? Worry about the safety of strolling on a beach by yourself?
You don’t have to, do you?
I am just any other girl going to office on a usual Monday and thinking that the life of man sitting next to me on the bus is a luxury that I may never get.
It just makes me sad.
But you cannot imagine that, can you?
Image source: freedom – conceptual, by Shutterstock.
As a small town girl born in a middle class joint family, all it takes
Agreed. I had a disagreement once on a blog with a woman who said that all men “benefit from patriarchy” because they’re able to do everyday stuff like you talk about in your post. Walk with a t-shirt off, go out at night etc. My point of view was that these things are supposed to be the benchmark. We need to ensure that women can do these “normal” things as well. It’s not men who are benefiting from patriarchy, but women who are suffering from it. Patriarchy does not enable men to go out at night without thinking. It prevents women from doing so.
We need to make these things normal for women. To the extent that it’s not even viewed as an accomplishment. That’s the goal.
Thank you for sharing your perspective. I do not believe in looking and mourning about what has been happening for ages but I definitely think that a change can be brought about for coming generations. For this, whatever our belief system is that we want to transfer, let’s start by challenging every bit of it so as to give only that is relevant.
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