It's an honour for me to be born a woman. Ours is the gender, that is worshipped in India, as a goddess. Isn't it a privilege? Yes, it certainly should be but is it? In the recent times, I have come across a lot of news about women being abused and raped. I doubt if there exists a woman, who has never been abused in any way, till date.
I salute those women who stood up for themselves, and I grieve for those who lost their battle with life.
I have read quite a few articles, where they talk about issues such as female safety (including dressing style, of course), male mentality, and they say that self-defence should be taught to every woman. I agree with some thoughts and ideas, and I disagree with the others. When it comes to talking about abuse, I can recollect a lot of incidences that happened to me. Yes, there were many incidences, not just one or two. I never spoke about any of these, you know why? Because what would I get out of it? I remember all of them clearly, unfortunately.
Those who say to me that it's okay, one can forget about such unfortunate occurrences because it was nothing big. I am sorry to tell you, but it does not work this way.
People say that I am an ‘anti-male’ person, but that is not true. From wherever I don't get a good vibe, I keep myself away from that source. Because after all, being a female, my safety falls into my hands first. I remember the first incident that happened to me, it was when I was travelling with my mother on a city bus. I was a kid, maybe just 5-years-old or even younger. I was sitting between my mother and a male passenger. I remember exactly, that I was uncomfortable, and I recognized that the touch was not good.
He had placed his hand on my bare thigh (I was wearing a frock) and I removed his hand multiple times. But he didn't stop doing it, until my mom noticed it and bashed him, and then eventually he was thrown out of the bus by the conductor.
That was the beginning of encountering such episodes, because I was on the naturally enduring end, being a female. They say that it is safe to step out in the daylight, but unfortunately, it is not. They say that the areas where there are people around, is safe but I will say to them, that No, it's not true. They say when you are in a group its safe, I will say no again. And why I am saying all this is because of my not so good experiences. Here I am not stressing on the female gender per say, I am stressing on the inappropriate touch. I have seen young boys experiencing the same.
Why is it so difficult to be decent? Why is it so difficult to behave? Why is it so difficult to be a human?
As an individual, as a female who has learned self-defence, I don't feel safe going out alone when it’s dark. I am concerned about my safety, my wellbeing. I am still met with the inappropriate glare of the opposite gender, even speaking up against it doesn't help the cause. I have seen people criticizing the mentality of males but are we females really falling a step behind?
We end up criticizing other females, for the way they present themselves. We are guilty of doing this, aren’t we?
Sometimes we invite such acts. Yes, we should be free to do what we want but it's necessary for us to behave decently, as well. I am not saying that one should stay locked up, indoors but when we step out, we are responsible for our own selves. If we are strong enough, then how can we rely on others to support us? Our friends might support us or prevent us from a crazy act, but aren't we responsible for their safety as well? Aren't we becoming a problem for them? Aren't we ignoring the facts? We stay in a country with a huge population, ours is one of the most diverse and multidimensional (primarily in terms of education) population in the world. I
If you think we can bring a change, then I suggest we start this change from within, let's start with our families.