While juggling multiple roles, don’t forget you are important too. Make yourself a priority because no one else will with #KhayaalRakhna
Every day, before getting past the coaching gates, I had to cross my stalker. Ogling from a proud window of his fancy car, he came along with his friends to belittle me, steal my identity and take my freedom away. The first day I ignored him, the second day he came outside my home, the third day he talked to my little brother, the fourth day my friends told me that he was enquiring about me. That day, I figured that adolescence for girls is not a golden period after all. It is much more than that. A period of hormonal changes, self discovery, understanding, gaining maturity and becoming passionate, sometimes witnessing anxiety and self loathe too.
While the air is filled with news about rapes, violence, sexual objectification and eve teasing of girls, my mother and I are terrified and my father feels helpless and weak. Moreover, a question haunts me time and again – Am I weak because of my gender?
What have we done to women? With a rusted iron mug in hand, she slowly paces towards the fields to relieve her bladder pressure which haunts her specially during her menstruation cycles or when she is suffering from loose motions. Villages lack proper sanitation and pads are reserved only for privileged. These conditions force her to be embarrassed in her own eyes.
What have we done to women? Leaving her own family of years behind, she goes to live with her husband and there she feels violated for everything. With set rules of in laws pondering in her mind, she roams inside the walls like a zombie. Waking up with a broom in hand and dozing off like a monster whenever she can, wherever she can, she escapes only to the house roof. This may not be true for all but for many.
What have we done to women? Government data on acid attacks shows that most numbers of attacks happen in patriarchal societies of South Asian Countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Cambodia and India particularly in Northern States such as Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi giving us a hint yet again on where we need to work upon. Many women like Laxmi Agarwal, Reshma Qureshi are the few brave acid attack victims who have won over their atrocities done on them and have failed the intent of the malicious attackers.
With the plight of innumerous individuals who have always had thought worse for women, she still stands strong, she is still hopeful. But then too many girls believe they are not good enough or do not measure up in several ways. Other than this, they don’t get enough support from their families or friends just like boys get.
With a lot of online movements like #heforshe, #metoo, #girlpower in air, we are certainly moving in the right direction. We should teach our girls that facing failure with astute determination to succeed would make them stronger. They should be taught that it is okay to fail and stumble as it comes with immense learning. We should teach our society to support without any bias and empathy to our boys.
As a very basic exercise, consider writing some points for which you would look down on women. On an absolute scale, if you look closely, check how many of those are valid? To all the readers who are thinking that this article is Feminist, I want to emphasize that I accept that I am not equal but different. I don’t seek an egalitarian society, but a liberal one. To all my girls I supplicate to keep doing what you are doing. To boys, I want to ask that even if you accept this and want to bring a change, what next? It is high time to know that we are mature enough to absorb what is the necessity of the hour. Come forward, do something.
Why is this so important? There are a few reasons. As a part of this society, we want to be encouraged and respected. Certainly, nobody using foul means should be given a place in this society but being a woman is as basic as being a human and based on gender, no right should be taken from anyone. Although, the condition has improved in urban areas, situations cannot be praised until each woman feels secure and boundless.
What can be done? Education for all should be made compulsory and cheap. CCTV Cameras should be installed in every street, every corner. Proper sanitation and toilets should be installed in every village. Judiciary for perpetrators condemning crimes as severe as a rape should be made more rigid. They should not be allowed to roam free inside jail. Instead, they should be penalised to death. There should be bodies in every village, every city for women counselling. Most importantly, books and newspaper should be flooded with such information so that women can be aware of what is happening around her while being grounded to her home.
Coming back to earlier question, are we the weaker section of the society?
Indeed. But the first step to identifying this is achieved. And now we grow.
Image via Pexels
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