YOU TREAT HER like a goddess, you name rivers after her and she is a precious darling whom you would not even allow to go outside your house. Yes, for the Indian society, women are delicate darlings. Perhaps this notion, well ingrained from childhood, is the chief cause for most crime against women.
Given the benefit of going to work
But later her job description changed. They made her believe that she was an integral part of the society. She was given the benefits of going to work. And why was that? For one, a single salary could not help meet rising prices. She had to shed her shell and take tiny steps amidst caution in the male-dominated world. Things aren’t easy. She has to tide past every meddler. She dare not take umbrage at them lest her personality is would be tarnished with filth. She swallows her agony, pain and stress in stony silence.
The society teaches her that these small offences are to be tolerated as she is given the liberty of being a part of the larger world. She is mute because she fears that her family and society will revoke her newly found liberty. If she dares to complain about it, things end up against her. Society blames her for the fault. Her provocative moves and exposing attire could have instigated the opposite sex to commit offence against her, would be their reasoning. Right from birth she is molded to meet men’s requirements. Any tangents from this, is termed improper.
Problem of women revolves around women
For such an imbalanced society, many would blame it as male chauvinism. A closer look reveals that the problem of women revolves around women. A mother who chides her daughter to avoid going out, never cares to educate her boy about how to treat a girl. These small acts inside the family have snowballed to rude public behaviour. It is time we stopped advising women not to venture out but teach our sons how to behave. Mass media like cinema and commercial advertisements portray women as commodities of lust. They instill these thoughts in children at a very young age and they are not even aware that certain acts are violence against women. How many movies have shown women being married to the man by whom she had been sexually abused? Such acts don’t seem to be an offence.
It ‘s in the last 20 years that since women, in large numbers have been going for work. Now the IT industry and the BPOs have made even nightshifts common place. Without a proper system that ensures safety and a mechanism to register her woes, these changes have taken place in the society at a rapid pace. For a girl from being raised in the comfort of her home, to moving and working in a metro would be a dream. The glossy world is always an attraction. The age of adventure pushes her to venture unseen places, but her society fails to teach her self -protection. That is where we fail as a society.
Equip her with self-defence…
Instead of spoon-feeding a girl child and making her believe that a prince will appear out of the blue to save her from the clutches of evil, it is time we realise that women need to be taught to take care of themselves. They are neither inferior nor superior to men; they are if nothing else man’s equal.
Helpline numbers, women police stations and other systems seem to exist. But in times of trial they don’t work. A woman should learn self-defence.
Vociferously voicing views in the pretext of protecting women, we seem to make the same mistake again: we advise her not to venture out late and wear long coats to hide her skin and ask her to veil from the vicinity of men. Are all these measures really intended to protect women or are they for men to keep in control their animal instincts? Isn’t it time that we move out of such a perverted society and give women the dignity and freedom that she deserves?
While debates abound, I feel that a society like Gandhi envisaged namely a country where a woman can freely walk at night fully be-jewelled is what we need. As, Poet Bharati said, a woman should walk with upright gait and steadfast looks and be unafraid of anyone in the world. That is the need of the hour.
BOX: CNN IBN POLL
A NATION-WIDE POLL carried by the CNN IBN between 7 and 11 January 2013. 2617 respondents over the age of 18 were part of the poll. It was carried in 10 cities across India. 68%of the respondents agree that a woman who has been raped is tainted and ruined for life. 7 out of 10, that is a 68% of the respondents believe that women should abide by a certain dress code in public places. This view is strong among the male respondents – A whopping 80%say that women should abide by a ertain dress code in public places. 36%of the female respondents claim to have faced some form of sexual harassment. 42%42% of respondents feel that a man rapes a woman because of the way she resses. 53% of the male respondents feel so. 71% believe that they will be supported by their family in case they face any kind of sexual abuse.
Self-defence is vital...
Somewhere there is a message. That you must learn self defence; that discretion is the better part of valour. If you walk the streets with a public display of wealth you get mugged. Ask any Indian in Australia or Africa. Of-course this does not mean that locked doors don’t get broken in; it does not mean that people who don’t display their wealth don’t get mugged.
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