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Indian men have a massive sense of entitlement when it comes to showing superiority over women. Ulrike Reinhard wants them to learn a very important lesson.
“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” –Elie Wiesel
Being a woman in India is a tough job; life is practically an everyday struggle, thanks to the patriarchal mindset of the Indian society. On the other hand being a man in India means living a life of privilege and entitlement; as if they own the entire space, whether it is in the family, at the workplace or in public.
This sense of entitlement is hard-wired into every male child in an Indian household. Yes, it is true that ‘male entitlement’ is a global phenomenon and not India centric; yet in India this sense manifests itself to epic proportions. In India, street harassment doesn’t restrict itself only to catcalls. It spills over to constant commentary, women facing extreme sexual innuendoes and also facing clear threats of misogynistic violence in everyday life.
Ulrike Reinhard comes from Germany and helps educate children in Panna in Madhya Pradesh. She recently opened up in her Facebook status update on how she faced street harassment on the streets of Panna and how the ‘male entitlement sense’ in the mind of the perpetrator works on Indian streets.
While walking down a crowded market place she was touched repeatedly by a young man. When confronted by Ulrike Reinhard, the impunity of the boy left her baffled. The behaviour of this boy brings to focus the sad state of Indian society. Young boys and men in general feel bad behaviour or molestation are their birth right. Women of any age are and can be subjected to ridicule and assault. And we women think it is best to keep quiet, ignore and do nothing about it.
But Ulrike Reinhard decided not to go with this ‘normal’. She instead took the boy to task and did something so inspiring that might help changing the way the boy, his parents and society in general think and view women. Her action reinstates the call of the hour – if we need change we need to take matters into our own hands.
Read Ulrike Reinhard inspiring post here:
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