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From the 10 sec groping rule in Italy to states banning abortion in the US and finally our to our very own Manipur horror - Is the world regressing exponentially with respect to women?
Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash
When I heard that an Italian court acquitted a 65 year old school caretaker of sexual assault of a 17 year old girl simply because the groping only lasted between five and ten seconds, I went into denial. I consoled myself that no court could be that stupid and that this must be fake news. However, one should never expect much from a country whose former PM was Silvio Berlusconi.
Since this incident, women are filming themselves squeezing breasts for 10 seconds and posting it online in protest.
The details of the assault are horrendous. The 17 year old was walking up the stairs to a class with a friend when the caretaker pulled her pants down, grabbed her underwear and fondled her buttocks. He also had the nerve to tell her that it was all a joke when she confronted him. The ruling on this incident should go straight into “Ripley’s Believe it or not”
We’ve all heard of the 5 second food rule where it is safe to eat food off on the ground if consumed within the stipulated time. But a rule that acquits a man because his hands did not “linger” long enough in a 17 year old girl’s underwear is unbelievable. The end result is, two men -the abuser and the judge – trampled all over a 17 year old girl’s self worth and came out with nary a scratch.
Meanwhile, the ban on abortions in the US is gathering momentum. Ever since the US Supreme court overturned Roe v. Wade in June last year, the abortion ban has picked up steam. Many states have passed near-total bans on abortion with very limited exceptions or banned the procedure early in pregnancy.
There are nearly 20+ states that have already banned or are likely to ban abortions. This means women who stay in a banned state will have to travel long distances for care or manage the abortions by themselves or worse carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. With populations declining rapidly in certain countries/races/religious sects the reproductive health and rights will soon be wrested away from women spiralling us back to the dark ages.
And then we have our very own Manipur horror which shows how raping and humiliating women is the weapon of choice in conflict zones . Sexual violence against women is sadly the first line of offense to achieve political objectives. Rape during times of conflict is used to terrorise the population, destroy communities and often change the ethnic makeup of the upcoming generation. Women are mere instruments to be used , taken apart piece by piece and obliterated only after a political statement has been made or military goal has been achieved.
The life of women in any conflict zone follows the same format and age is no bar , you can be 80 or 8 , as long you are alive and caught in these areas your body will be violated and tortured and used to avenge any and every crime perpetrated by the “other” side. Women may have come a long way but the future looks frightening as we have an increasing regressive society ganging up against us and forcing us to run backwards, panting at our heels to banish us to the same cave that we struggled for so long to come out of.
Roopa Prabhakar describes herself as a mother, a working woman, a closet feminist and blogger. read more...
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