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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. (SAAM). Let's look at what we all can do to prevent sexual assault as well as create an awareness of the problem.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. (SAAM). Let’s look at what we all can do to prevent sexual assault as well as create an awareness of the problem.
Trigger Alert: This post has descriptions of violence against women, specifically sexual assault, and may be triggering for survivors.
Sexual assault is a bigger pandemic than COVID, and is a symptom of the rape culture a ‘traditional’, patriarchal society perpetuates directly through abusive behaviour – either through action or speech; and indirectly through things like controlling choices / voices/ sexuality/ bodies of women, and conditioning everyone to think this is normal.
Here are some critical points everyone must be vigilant about to create a safer society for everyone.
Take action before sexual assault happens. Act against stalkers and eve teasers. They aren’t romantic. Don’t believe the popular entertainment that disguises invasion of privacy, harassment and domination as love. Sexual assault should be nipped in the bud.
Talk to teenagers of all genders. Tell them that no matter how desperate they become, they can’t control someone else’s body, whoever that someone is.
Sexual assault is equally wrong when your best friend/gang member/bff/bro/sis/bae (or any cool term) does it. It doesn’t matter who they are to you or how decent you think they are.
Don’t become a part of the problem by cooperating with them and justifying them.
No means no. If they aren’t in a position to say anything freely, it is a no. Consent isn’t for you to understand or assume. It is for them to give. Read that again.
Sexual assault isn’t rape alone. It is unwanted sexual contact. Sometimes, what we brush up saying it is common or normal (casual) could be sexual assault.
Nothing can justify or be an excuse for sexual assault. It was, it is, always avoidable. Onus is on the assaulters to NOT assault. We can’t push the blame on victims or survivors for letting it happen or for not fighting back.
No form of sexual assault is trivial or forgivable. So if you have ever assaulted someone sexually and the world has forgiven you, you are still a criminal.
Survivors don’t owe anyone anything. Their life is still theirs and will remain. Those who’ve been watching everything from a comfortable place can keep their opinions to rest.
You need not wait for a particular month to become aware and spread awareness about sexual assault. It is a bare minimum expectation from a human being.
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Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
Darlings makes some excellent points about domestic violence . For such a movie to not follow through with a resolution that won't be problematic, is disappointing.
I watched Darlings last weekend, staying on top of its release on Netflix. It was a long-awaited respite from the recent flicks. I wanted badly to jump into its praise and will praise it, for something has to be said for the powerhouse performances it is packed with. But I will not be able to in a way that I really had wanted to.
I wanted to say that this is a must-watch on domestic violence that I stand behind and a needed and nuanced social portrayal. But unfortunately, I can’t. For I found Darlings to be deeply problematic when it comes to the portrayal of domestic violence and how that should be dealt with.
Before we rush to the ‘you must be having a problem because a man was hit’ or ‘much worse happens to women’ conclusions, that is not what my issue is. I have seen the praises and criticisms, and the criticisms of criticisms. I know, from having had close associations with non-profits and activists who fight domestic violence not just in India but globally, that much worse happens to women. I have written a book with case studies and statistics on that. Neither do I have any moral qualms around violence getting tackled with violence (that will be another post some day).