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When Men Like These Say Things Like ‘Shoot The Bitches!’

Sexism in everyday life is so all pervading that opinionated feminist women (like me) need to cope with it with a pinch of salt, and maybe call out the Mr Manforces like these out.

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Sexism in everyday life is so all pervading that opinionated feminist women (like me) need to cope with it with a pinch of salt, and maybe call out the Mr Manforces like these out.

The residential colony where I live in Uttarakhand has a pretty active Resident Welfare Association. Much of the credit goes to its President, Mr. Manforce (Yes the name is phony, but you will find it more relatable by the end of this writeup).

Last week some stray dog biting incidents happened in our colony. You know how motivated one can be when they unfall in love. So, along with the biting incident, complaints started pouring in about the dogs (and bitches) chasing joggers, the late-night howls disturbing the peace, etc etc. For almost all the miseries of the residents the poor animals were blamed. I am not sure whether all the canines had gone berserk overnight, but one had definitely crossed the limit because it had attacked none other but Mr. Manforce’s daughter.

The man in command quickly gathered a team of action takers.

I want this menace to be controlled ASAP. 

Aye Aye Captain. Should we kill them? 

No. We can’t take the risk of those good-for-nothing animal welfare hounds. Mr. Manforce tapped his glistening skull.

See Dogs are fine. But I don’t want Bitches. Shoot the bitches! 

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I am sure Mr.Manforce meant it just as a figure of speech like that Minister who recently blamed the parents for letting the girls go out late at night when two teens were raped on a popular beach.

So, don’t take Mr. Manforce literally.

He is a law-abiding citizen. But I am not.

I asked him – Why bitches? Why shoot the bitches?

He rolled his eyes. I must have looked a nutcase to him, but he patiently elaborated – Dogs don’t procreate, Bitches do. 

Pause.

Can’t you tell the dogs not to f*** bitches, I offered a logical and peaceful solution.

After this episode, I was labelled with the most hated word in Mr Manforce’s limited dictionary – A Feminist. Unfortunately, I had taken the wrong time to mess with a community head. In this Pandemic time, the community heads are next sought-after chairs who are running their own constitution. They have their means you know. I am learning it a hard way when my house-help arrives late every other day because she is stopped for security check, or the online delivery parcels stay undelivered because they couldn’t locate the address.

Women and Children not allowed (unless with a Male Protector!)

Before you people judge/misjudge Mr Manforce, let me tell you I was also not that ideal, submissive, cooperative resident. I had given him enough reasons in the past to hate me.

Like sometime back, when he had got a sign put up next to a seasonal river stream when a leopard was spotted.

This nullah is a favorite spot for nature lovers like me who love to take early morning jog on its periphery. The sign read – Women and Children not allowed alone. Leopard spotted.

The second part of the warning was enough to scare me. But the choice of words in the first part was utterly ridiculous. For two reasons.

Firstly, though a happily married opinionated woman, still I don’t expect my partner to throw himself in front of the leopard to save me. Neither is he aspiring to become a shining warrior, nor do I want to risk my ‘married’ status.

A couple of years ago, when we had gone on a trek to the Valley of Flowers, we came face to face with a Himalayan bear. I froze on the spot, fished out a small khukri (don’t judge me for being a fan of Indiana Jones at that time). But though my husband is a trained Commando, without wasting any second, he ran past me, past the bear to save his life. Run! Run! Foolish woman, the bear’s claws are twice the size of your machete, he screamed from distance.

Fortunately, the bear was not in the killing mood that day. But I learned two important lessons  – Your safety is in your hands. And my husband is trained to kill the enemy not to protect his wife.

Now coming back to the main story, I lost my cool because of the second reason (sexism, of course; what did you this?!) and stormed straight to Mr. Manforce’s office.

Without wasting a preamble, I asked him what he meant by ‘women and children.’

After that classic roll of eyes, he said: What do you want to know?

Oh, I mean, why only women and children? Is your leopard sexist in diet? 

I am leaving the rest of the conversation to the readers’ imagination.

There are Manforces at every step, trying to ‘Shoot the Bitches’ to bring order to the society. They want a society where women are not annoying them in ripped jeans, procreating but not procreating when men don’t want it, paying taxes but not moving openly like men at any wee hours, Feminine but not feminists.

And we, smart and opinionated women, stay calm like that Himalayan Bear…

Published here first.

Image source: still from the film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

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About the Author

Vartika Sharma Lekhak

Vartika Sharma Lekhak is a writer based in India. She is the author of the short-story collection – Bra Strap and two anthologies – When Women Speak Up, and The Take Off. The short-story collection read more...

21 Posts | 108,354 Views

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