On Swami Vivekananda’s 150th Birthday: Jan 12, 2013
Hoping someday all the people of Bharat/India(in fact whole world), Chowmein eating, self-righteous, expert, educated, wise men and women understand this!
Outraged about the Delhi rape incident, are you? I am too but the reason I hadn’t written anything about this incident or the earlier Guwahati incident is because I know none of this is going to stop because I am writing about it or ranting and raving about it on FB. People will be outraged about it for a while till it is in the media and then go about their business as usual only to be awakened by another such brutal incident. In the meanwhile, the victims die or live in condition worse than death and the rapists roam go scot-free. What is required is a change in the mindset of the people in our country which is way far away from the required mindset right now. We cannot expect change till we believe women are a liability, till our movies stop showing girls going out late in the night and getting raped or in some fortunate cases helped by a hero who gives them a lesson of life by telling them to stay indoors after late henceforth, till we stop treating girls/women as property and the list can go on. This was aptly put in a FB status by Geetha Jacob. Geetha, if you are listening, Thanks for putting it this way and letting the outraged people know they rape indirectly too and a lot of times. And let me tell you this applies to most in our society and not just men but women too. There is no hope till we fix this.
The FB status said:
You stay silent when your mother is treated like shit by your father,
You stay silent when your friend takes dowry from his wife’s family,
You stay silent when your classmates sits at a nukkad whistling ‘maal’ at passing women saying it is innocent fun,
You stay silent when a million women every year in this nation are murdered before birth or their breath dunked in milk before god after it,
You don’t report the drunkard husband who beat up your maid servant because it is not your business,
You stayed silent when your boss hit upon a female colleague and you told her to grin and bear it because it happens everywhere,
You sing along with your favourite male stars as they call their ‘items’ chikni chameli and halkat jawani etc.,
You stay silent when our police and paramilitary gang rape tribal and lower caste women and shove stones inside their rectum saying that that’s an aberration of the system,
You did not protest the lower pay that your female colleagues got just because of their sex,
You helped your parents arrange a marriage for your sister against her wishes saying she doesn’t know her mind,
You stayed silent when in a family discussion a woman’s voice was silenced by the cacophony of male voices,
You force a woman to wear burqa in the pretext of sharia law or justify their domesticity because some asshole called Manu wrote some asinine laws hundreds of years back,
You think feminism is shit and feminist loud mouthed ‘bitches’ who have not better work to do than cry victim,
You applaud as Hindu right wing men barge into a hotel and slap ‘immoral’ women with the intention of ‘reforming’ their ‘maa’ ‘behen’
You stay silent when females in a party are sent away to discuss ‘childish’ things even as you discuss ‘important’ things like politics and all in their absence,
You stayed silent when your father directly and sarcastically showed your mother that she’s lower then men in intelligence time and again,
You objected loudly when your girlfriend, wife wanted to put her life and career ahead of yours saying yours was more important,
And now suddenly you have become a man because ONE woman was brutally beaten and raped while you conveniently forget the hundreds of women whose psyche you were responsible for brutally beating and raping directly, or indirectly through your inaction… and now you evoke the same ‘maa’ and ‘behen’ argument to protect them…
Thanks to the serpent of your awakened manhood, that woman in Delhi will perhaps get justice. But what about the millions of other women in the country of different religion, region and sect united by their shared injustice who will perhaps never get justice precisely for the same reason – your manhood?
It is anything but easy to talk about events from the past that you don’t look back fondly. Yet here are 3 women talking about rape and how they survived and also thrived after the incident.
I think it is incredibly brave of them to do so. Worldwide there are still people and whole societies believing that the onus is on a woman to be not raped. If unfortunately, it happens, then it is the victim who is to be blamed for letting it happen. Most victims go through life with a guilt they never are able to get rid of. Though most certainly NO ONE asks for it.
misslisted says “I am also moved to tell this story now because I am shocked and alarmed by the utter lack of clarity and insight on the part of some politicians recently on the subject of rape.“ This post, would hopefully, also serve as a response to our very own people who believe rapes are caused due to chow mein, short skirts, girls not being married as soon as they are born or girls staying out late or whatever other stupid excuse they come with up.
Rape is caused by one person choosing to violate the rights of another, an act of violence. Period. Anything said to justify the act is just a pathetic attempt to look away from reality.
Image: I am talking about the image one has of others and oneself.
The idea for this post came across when I saw beautiful palace pics on Sherry’s(Travel Spirit) post Palace Splendor. I commented that the pics took me to a different era, a time when the kings and queens reigned. She responded “Cool era…but I wouldn’t want to wear the whale bone corsets…ouch!”. Gosh! why would anyone wear such a thing, I thought. But lot of women did.
This is just one instance where women willingly go through pain to fit into the society’s image of a perfect female. This society image includes body image and as well as other behavioral image.Every culture and period of history has had its own standards of “an ideal female” and women from generations have fallen for it. Why even the modern “free” woman also wears painful heels in spite of their well-known ill effects. And anorexic models are the new role models.
While practices like foot binding and corsets are old and abandoned, others like breast ironing are very much alive. Around the same time as corsets, some women also got their ribs surgically removed to get a narrow waist. Fainting was a virtue, it showed a woman is delicate. In fact, I had read somewhere that there were also Charm classes which taught women to faint in a “lady-like” manner.
Sigh! I am so glad I am born in an era and in a culture where no such cruel practices exist( biases do exist but none so harmful/cruel). But at the same time it is also true that we live in an age with instant access to mass media. Hence we are constantly fed with ideas of modern ideal beauty and attitude. Never has history seen such a monumental rise of beauty products, surgical beauty treatments, personality development classes or self-help books. Add to it, technology has helped us to touch up these images to take them to a new unattainable level..
Humans are conditioned to believe ‘what is beautiful is good’. While it is a research proven fact that attractive people(which mostly means good-looking or the current idea of good-looking) have an advantage over the others in the society, why is it that women are more concerned about looks as compared to men. The reasons are again historic. Women had to compete to marry the most eligible man. A woman’s strength was(may be still is) her beauty. Women had no way of supporting themselves, and hence marrying the right man meant a lot. For a man his defining qualities may be good-looking, earning well, very strong or much more but a woman’s identity is tightly tied to her beauty/looks.
Well times have changed and women are more independent now and define their own rules. While both sexes are equal offenders, most guys I have met are pretty open to many ideas of beauty, it is us girls who judge themselves and other girls by these strict set of parameters. Time we stood up for ourselves and choose a happy and healthy life instead struggling to cope to somebody else’s standards. Let’s create an image where a healthy and happy woman is the ideal one.
Though I am posting it later, I am writing it on International Women’s Day and nothing better than one of my friend’s FB status to conclude the post, “You are sexy, strong and fearless and you know it!!! Happy Women’s Day all you lovely ladies!! ♥ ♥ keep rocking!!”
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What else can you say for this?? Sanjay Dutt needs a reality check…He is done with films and politics. Now he wants Kranti!!! And kranti for what – a new kind of faltugiri. Mamu ab toh sudhar jaa!!!!