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#YesAllWomen face groping, harassment, molestation at some point or the other. Why is it so important to focus on #NotAllMen instead?
Happy New Year…the words in themselves carry a feeling of celebration and festivity and are such a mood booster! That time of the year when thoughts of meeting families and friends, buying gifts, attending parties, stuffing oneself with delicacies overpower the thought of meeting deadlines, project deliverables and meetings.
Well, if you are thinking on the same lines as me then I am sorry to say that, Friend, this is an old thought now! New Year these days is not meant to be happy for us women – and a word a caution – if you were planning to lose yourself in an enjoyable party wearing that pretty short red dress of yours – then just dispose of that idea because the government believes that short dresses are a call for “such things” to happen in our society.
Well, I suppose what the government is trying to prove is that ‘progressive’ men are weak enough to refrain and curb their desires when they see a woman in a short dress which ultimately makes them pounce and attack upon the weak. It unnerves me when I think of what if someone molests me when I return from work. I can’t imagine even half of what the women who were harassed are going through!
When I read about the mass molestation in Bangalore and then saw the video of the girl being accosted and abused as she walked up to her home, I felt awful and ashamed. What are these men made of? Do they have a heart? Do they understand what it is like to be groped? What if girls start grabbing their crotch and punch it? It certainly makes me feel that Indian parents aren’t raising their sons right and it’s endangering us! While the world celebrated the advent of the New Year, the women of our society welcomed 2017 wearing the shackles of gender inequality, an unjust chaotic society and an inhumane system.
What perplexes me more are the disgraceful responses from politicians over the whole episode. Karnataka’s home minister blamed the attack on the women’s ‘Western dressing’ while the MLA from one of the other political parties pitched in – “if women wear short dresses and venture out without male family members, such incidents are bound to happen”. It’s astonishing to see how the blame has been swiftly nudged towards women!
This simply strengthens the guts of all the men who took part in molesting the girls and also the ones who repented being not a part of this molesters group! If we use this as an excuse to mar the dignity of women celebrating on New Year’s Eve, I wonder how rampant was molestation in ancient times when clothing was at a bare minimum. This clearly shows that the politicians are running away from core issues in the society! Is that why they were elected in the biggest democracy in the world? Well, if I think through this, I am wrong in expecting a resolution from politicians who can’t even refrain from watching porn in the state assembly while discussing important issues concerning the state; how can I even expect them to understand the trauma of girls who are molested and girls who live in the fear of being molested?
While we are talking about the government, I can’t help but notice that some men on social media have failed to comprehend the seriousness and gravity of the incident while needlessly trying to protect men’s ‘endangered’ rights during an incident when women were the victims. #NotAllMen has failed to impress me and I am pretty sure that many others would share the same feelings as mine. This very ‘modern’ set of men is busy saving their image by washing their hands off the muck instead of discussing and raising awareness on the epidemic level of violence against women.
All I want to tell them is yes, you are right, you are unimpeachable, it’s just not your fault that girls in this society don’t feel safe and secure and that makes you non-liable to the situation of our society! You are doing a splendid job of lionizing your image, which surely is what matters – not the safety of women, isn’t it?
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Top image credited to Remi Noyon, taken at a Slutwalk protest in London. Used under a Creative Commons license 2.0
Hi, I am Poulamee Pande, Clinical Data Manager by profession but not confined to my cubicle. When I am not working, I love writing about some of the orthodox societal norms, this is just a read more...
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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