A story of love, loss and second chances by Nikita Singh, releasing this Valentine’s Day.
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NEWS HEADLINES: A village in UP suffers the wrath of a lingerie thief this summer. Women blamed for drying their lingerie in the open.
This weekend I came across the weird news of a strange series of incidents happening since 90 days that had left the women of Prabhupur village of Chandauli district in Uttar Pradesh, India, baffled.
Someone had been stealing their lingerie whenever they hung it to dry in the open.
Who you ask?
A 11 year old boy seemingly suffering from an unsound mental condition is the culprit.
Why didn’t they report it sooner?
Well, because of the stigma attached to it, the stigma attached to women wearing lingerie.
What is even more surprising is that even after the women upped their courage and complained about it to the village pradhan, who is also a woman, she didn’t take any action and waved it off.
It is shocking how many sets of valued lingerie must they have lost, but they didn’t even discuss about it because they were shy, scared and apologetic that they even owned one.
Why were they conscious, intimidated and ashamed of accepting a basic fact that they are human and like anyone else, they would definitely wear garments of all types to cover themselves and their body parts?
Men wear lingerie; it just has a different name. Well, they shouldn’t be guilty of that because A. they are men, B. everyone knows the need to wear it, why hide, C. any other sexist reason.
Women wear lingerie too; but they shouldn’t reveal it; the same lingerie that is openly advertised on the television, on bill boards on the roads, in malls, and in porn. It is considered an open secret that everyone knows but nobody talks about it.
Why is everything about women considered clandestine?
Their dreams, their achievements, their passions, their needs, the clothes that they wear, their periods, the problems they face and the violence they suffer in silence. Everything about women is considered unholy and embarrassing.
May be that’s why the village pradhan didn’t report it to the police officers. Eventually when all the women had lost all their pretty pieces, an anonymous old man did gather the courage to report it to the SHO who later found out that a local adolescent had decided to trouble the women by stealing their lingerie as it hung dry in the sun and later dumping them in the village sewers.
Did they find a solution to the problem?
Well, they did. They blamed the women for hanging such shameful items out in the open. They should have dried them somewhere in secret, preferably in their homes, in the dark, according to the SHO.
Hats off to the police authority for such an incredible and errorless solution. None of the officers, not even the best in the country could have thought of such a magnificent idea.
Is this the only village when women are facing such issues?
I live in a city where I often see women and girl as young as 8, hiding their clothes under a towel as they go for their shower.
I have travelled many places and everywhere I witnessed sanitary napkins being wrapped in news paper or black plastic before being sold. A friend of mine would rather bleed through her dress than go and buy a pack for herself on her period.
I have seen girls being morally educated by random strangers and friends as their bra strap decided to slide a few inches into the open.
Is this the only country where this is happening? I doubt that.
We, women exist everywhere on the planet and account for nearly half or more of the human population. Yet, we, women have to fight for our rights as humans and for our peaceful existence among men.
First published here.
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