We are living in the 21st century. We are all well-mannered people who are born and brought up in urban areas.
Yet as a mother, I continue to feel insecure.
As parents, we do everything possible for our children. We work harder for them at home and toil for long hours in the office because we want to give a better and more comfortable life to our lifelines – our kids.
Today I was sitting with the newspaper in the evening and sipping on my tea. This is something that I do regularly. I am a mother of a girl who is going to be three years old soon. And I was wondering about the kind of life I had chosen to give her.
I gave up my career willingly because I wanted to experience the joy of bringing up my daughter. I wanted to give her my complete attention. I wanted to support her all through her growing up years. We were doing our best to save money so that she gained admission to a ‘prestigious' school. We wanted her to gain knowledge and acquire the best set of skills while she was growing up.
As a mother, I did my best to take good care of her health. I planned and prepared nutritious meals for her and ensured she ate properly. I knew that good health was necessary for all round progress.
Yet, I got the jitters when I read the very first page of the newspaper. I had always come across brutal rape stories over social media. So many women were murdered for such trivial reasons.
And here was a story in the newspaper that said that a girl from a neighbouring city was brutally raped by seven men after which they mutilated her body so much that nobody recognized her.
Who gave these devilish men the license to outrage the modesty of a woman? Do they indulge in such inhuman acts because they are incapable of handling rejection? Does it hurt their pride/ego when a girl refuses to succumb to their desires? Why do they find it so difficult to live without the girl that they love? Why is it so difficult for them to accept that they will not get all that they wish for from the women who are a part of their lives? What pushes them to take such extreme actions? I am not saying that all men have become corrupt to the core.
But I really don’t think there are very many men out there whom we can trust blindly too.
It’s so sad that we are so scared of our own race now. The age of the man does not matter. Their education and their culture cease to matter.
Basically, I think their slow descent to barbarism begins when they don’t get what they are looking for.
Against such a background, I find my heart filling up with sadness when I realize that I am a mother of a growing girl. I am as scared as hell when it comes to sharing my daughter’s activities with others over social media. I look with suspicion when I find any unusual movement outside my house. No matter what kind of activity my child indulges in, I am always concerned about her safety. I am scared to send my daughter to her Montessori school in a cab. I am scared to let her play alone in the park that is just next to our house. I am scared to come home alone with my daughter in a cab after a late night party. So much so that I prefer to stay back for a day at the host’s house itself.
The situation is bad at home too. I wonder if I will end up passing on all my fears to her slowly. I don’t want her to be scared of her own race. But when I see her growing up I feel more insecure every day. I want to protect her from the opposite sex.
I wonder what is going on in the minds of all males when they are around my daughter.
Our insecurities will ensure that history repeats itself.
Mothers will then teach their daughters to remain silent again. They will train them to remain mum and ask them to never raise their voice against men if they value their life. We will never be able to gauge how even a well-educated boy will behave if a girl chooses to stand up to him or reject him.
So we will ask our daughters not to interact with boys.
The barbaric acts of men are not limited to physical violence alone. Every day women are always exposed to some form of verbal or physical violence in their lives.
Fathers, brothers, male friends, husbands and even sons do not like it when women object to what they are doing.
The woman knows the basic nature of a man so she prefers to keep mum when such sensitive topics are being ‘discussed.’
So very often a woman feels scared by a man’s silence too.
I feel more insecure as a woman and as a mother to a daughter when I see the barbaric acts that men indulge in so casually. Its time men learnt to accept equality. But this change in attitude can happen only if a woman first changes her own perspective.
She has to look at herself in a different manner.
Let’s stop compromising in our lives and learn to say a simple, “NO!” Let’s learn to say “NO” when our son demands something that he has not earned. Let him learn to share things with his siblings. Let him not get away with snatching even a small toy from his sister. Let us not ask our daughters to keep quiet when he does this. Let us not coax her to let go of the toy that her brother snatched from her.
Let’s teach our sons that rejection is also a part and parcel of life. Let him realize that rejection can prove to be a fruitful mental exercise for him. Let him learn to move on easily after experiencing rejection. Let him understand that the object that he is hankering over is a petty thing compared to the happiness of his sister.
Let him realize how special his sister is when she then willingly hands over the toy to him – because as a woman she inherently believes in the power of sharing and caring. She loves her brother so she does not mind sharing her favourite toy with him.
If boys are exposed to such experiences right from their childhood days, they will be able to accept rejection. They will then be able to find the strength to look beyond their ego and wait for better things to happen.
They will then learn to move on easily when their first relationship fails instead of seeking vengeance on the girl who rejected him.
We don’t need to teach such things to our sons. We just need to prick their egos every now and then while they are growing up so that they don’t think of themselves as superior in any way.
Men are not evil. They are just geared to thinking in the wrong way. That is why they stoop to such low levels. Their psyche needs to change and the onus of doing this falls on the mothers.
Maybe if we consciously work on the thinking patterns of our sons – we will all live to see a day when our daughters are able to live freely without being plagued by a constant sense of insecurity.
Let’s get our act together so that all mothers are liberated from all the fears that plague them. Let’s create a beautiful life for ourselves and smile with a feeling of immense satisfaction when one fine day we realize that we will always be surrounded by 'real' men now.