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Amidst all our outrage about the recent crimes against women and girls, is it time to look inward and see what our individual contribution against misogyny is?
The last few days have been quite disturbing, reading about the shameful news of brutal crimes against girls and women across the country. It has filled every woman’s heart with a fear that “I could be the next” or “What if I was in her place?” We have become even more concerned and protective towards our daughters, mothers, sisters and are secretly praying that they don’t go out at all.
Another inflaming matter to worry about is that people don’t understand the sensitivity of the case and are just happy ‘whataboutering’; connecting the case with other angles like religion, politics and what not. Media is sharing photos of the victim from Kathua. Think of what her parents and family must be going through while digging up her photos for you. For your channel, it’s TRP but for her family, it is their hearts which have been crushed so brutally. Isn’t it inhuman on our part? I mean, a little girl had gone through the worst nightmare and you are raising such topics during these trying times. Really?
Lately, I saw a post blaming a famous Bollywood actress for the revealing clothes she was wearing during a photoshoot. People, do you still think it’s about the clothes? If nudity has anything to do with rape, then women covered in sarees, salwar suits or even hijabs would never have been the victims. And what about these little kids? Are they exposing themselves to the pedophiles? They don’t even know the meaning of the word Rape. And if you still talk about clothing, can you please tell me why we get to hear of little boys too being molested? YES, there have been many such unfortunate cases too. In what way were they dressing up wrong? It’s all in the sick minds of people and it’s this dirty mentality that needs to be changed, not the clothes we wear.
Even worse, there have been posts about defending the accused with vindications being offered like, “It was a temple with regular visitors so how could she be kept hostage there” and “How can a father ask his son to gangrape” and other such utter nonsense. Political parties have got a hot topic and are playing the blame game here. They can change currency overnight but can’t bring about a robust law for the safety of women so expecting anything from them is useless. But what are we doing as individuals?
Instead of focusing on such futile matters, why don’t we start introspecting and do our bit for society? We are shaken to the core and our system does not seem to change, so it’s time for us to get up and kick some butts if any wrong is done to us or in front of us. It’s time we should stop giving gyaan to our daughters on how to dress up, where and when to go, how to behave with the in-laws, when to marry etc. It’s time we don’t let a man touch any woman in buses or trains, no matter whether she is known to us or a stranger. She’s a woman and that’s enough to take a stand! It’s time every girl should learn self-defence techniques.
It’s time to stop treating pink as girly and blue as virile. It’s time for raising our daughters with equal feathers in their hearts and stop setting boundaries for them. It’s time to stop expecting your daughter-in-law to be a Tarla Dalal. It’s ok if your Raja beta cooks dinner or if your bahu comes home late from work. It’s time not to tolerate any joke or statement that puts women down. It’s time we stop saying “Ultimately, shadi hi karni hai kya karogi aur padh likh ke” (You have to get married ultimately; what’s the use of studying more?) and force our daughters to get married. It’s time to stop saying, “Stop crying like a girl”.
It’s time to break the stereotypes set by our society and introduce our sons to household chores and the kitchen. It’s time to educate your sons to respect women and if they can’t, they better be prepared for the wrath coming their way. It’s time to make our sons understand that “NO is a NO”. It’s time to stop stating, “Choodiyan pehen lo” as a sign of weakness or shame. I have seen many educated, well to do families differentiating between the girl and boy child. This should be stopped. The root cause of this monstrous disease is unfair and unequal ‘upbringing’.
Remember, learning starts at home only and the seeds sown in childhood always persist in our children’s’ minds. So, raise equally strong kids and don’t let your daughter feel in any way that she’s lesser than your son, physically or mentally. I am using my pen power to do my bit and making sure my daughters are raised as strong women of this society who would always speak up against the wrong. I am doing my bit, are you?
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Mom of twin girls, a blogger turned author, a dreamer, a traveler and an artist
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