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Women suffer from harassment from an early age, if not since birth. And, they are silenced as they grow up, till not speaking up comes naturally to them. Why must this happen?
Stage 1: A little girl goes to school. While she’s walking, a man winks and makes kissing faces at her. She tells the teacher, but she is ignored as a little kid. On the other hand, the man is a respectable parent with a daughter of his own. He cannot do such a thing. The girl must have imagined it.
Stage 2: The little girl goes out for cycling. She is followed by a random boy who sings songs. She attempts to peddle faster. So does he. She goes home and informs her parents. But they tell her to beware and change her cycling route, or stop cycling. As for the boy, boys will be boys.
Stage 3: The little girl is now growing up, and she is eve-teased. She tries to get help but no one bats an eyelid. She should change the way she dresses or maybe her uniform or pigtails are the issue!? Who knows!
Stage 4: The girl is now a teenager. Her father’s friend tries to touch her inappropriately, and makes her uncomfortable. But of course, that’s an elder, known person. She is the one who should be controlled.
Stage 5: She was followed by 2 men on a bike. Nervous, she lost balance, and fell with the scooty that she was riding. She sustained some injuries but obviously no one can take any action against those men. Let the girl change her route.
Stage 6: A boy starts stalking her. Earlier, he was her friend. But he wants to become more, although she made it very clear that it’s not going to happen. Obviously, no one will support her due to the stories he made up about her. Now she’s presented as ‘damaged goods’ to many of his friends. All because she rejected him.
Stage 7: The girl has a boyfriend. He’s really caring. But, his friends call her names, and try to undermine her. She shares her discomfort with him, but the thing is that his friends are just ‘joking’. What’s wrong with her that she cannot handle a simple prank?
Stage 8: The girl starts working in a company. Her boss makes her uncomfortable by casual hugs and placing his hands on her shoulders. It is normal, right? Why is she making a big deal out of it?
Stage 9: She notices some men following her scooty. She calls a friend and SOS number. They follow and molest and assault her sexually. She escapes somehow.
“A town woman loses her honour!”
“She was like that only, she winked at me as a kid.”
“She used to wear short skirts to school.”
“She used to complain so much about petty matters, look now what happened”
“That’s why girls shouldn’t be allowed to work.”
“She slept with me as well.”
“She used to date me. None of my friends liked her.”
“She used to make an issue out of little things, look what happened.”
“She should have changed the paths she took while going back home.”
“Men will be Men.”
“Women shouldn’t be so ambitious.”
“Candle marches! Justice for Nirbhaya!”
Do women actually need this? Will moral policing help? Will not being ambitious stop the molesters? Will my long skirt no longer be an invitation?
Every girl has, at some point, wanted to be a boy. I wonder how many men would want to live the life of a girl with constant policing, strict control, and hardly any life of their own. In order to achieve anything, we have a set time limit because apparently the biological clock is always ticking.
The regressive thinking of people has improved. But, not to the extent that crimes against women would stop. It is high time we started believing when women complain. And, stop believing the false data highlighting the false rape cases that take us away from the actual numbers of crime against women.. Let women save each other! The time is now!
Image source: a still from the short film That Day After Everyday
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