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It is everyday sexism that we take for granted that gets a vicious grip on mindsets and creates the molester among us. The onus is on us to change.
It starts right from the time the child is born. Blue for boys and pink for girls. Growing up, telling the boys not to cry because men don’t cry and asking the girls to be polite because apparently girls are delicate.
It seeps in drop by drop. Through the environment a child is in. The society looking at the father’s work as the ‘manly’ one while the mother’s as the ‘homely’ one.
The tv ads… re-enforcing what a child sees around. The movies… with dialogues like “hansi to phasi” or “ladki ki na mei bhi haan hai“.
The objectification, the sexist jokes, the inequality, the supposed ‘male domination’.
The subtle entry of an 8 year old brother who walks to the shop down the street with his sister. To ‘protect’ her. The ‘protection’ provided here would not be by the virtue of his strength but would wholly depend on the virtue of his gender, accepted by the society.
It grows. Builds up piece by piece. And it solidifies taking a shape. Takes the shape of a mentality.
Looking at women as objects, as inferiors, as helpless, as second class citizens.
Who are the rapists and the molesters roaming around in the society? Are they men with horns or wings? How do we identify such creeps?
Ummm… well… we can’t. Because they are a part of us.
But, what we can do is, identify our own actions, our own mentality. Be more open minded, teach the boys that they are not here to protect their sisters or mothers or wives. They are here to coexist.
Women don’t need help. Women don’t need men to walk around freely. Women don’t need men for protection. Women need respect. As equal human beings.
We form the society. We encourage, accept, implement double standards. We don’t believe in equality. And that one faction, that one small thought at the back of our minds laughing at sexist jokes, accepting that women need help and considering women not equal to the other sex – it collectively takes the shape of that man who soaked all those things that he saw as a child, things that we showed him, the things he later believed as a man.
The onus is on us.
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"I chose to go out into the remote, wild, unknown, and make it home," says entrepreneur Kiranjeet Ahluwalia Chaturvedi, who owns Birdsong & Beyond.
The story of my mountain home Birdsong & Beyond started taking shape in 2009, on the internet, the way many stories do these days.
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My other longings pulled me away – the longing to fit in, to earn validation from others. By my mid-30s, with all the trappings of a middle-class urban life in place, the call of the snows couldn’t be ignored anymore. So I got to work on it with clearer intentions and a stronger sense of what I needed for myself, and why.
Many Indian elderly are firm believers in enslaving a daughter-in-law in the name of tradition which is actually a tradition of oppression and not of religious faith.
Albeit, the popular culture has interpreted scriptures as suggesting that Kanyadaan is the supreme form of donation given to someone, the connotation that the word donation alludes to definitely objectifies the girl.
Even when the exegesis justify the act of giving away the daughter, considering it a ritual to mark the initiation of the daughter into her husband’s gotra and her becoming the part of his family tree.
There is no denial of the fact that this initiation is not required on the part of the groom thereby formally denoting the end of the filial ties with the daughter as it was popularly instructed to the bride during the Vidai ceremonies:
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