A fair amount of time has passed since the last time I was publishing this very post, and in that time I have learnt a good deal. I want to start of by saying that a lot has changed, and with the little wisdom that I have gained, I felt the need to change some aspects of “She is a mother, She is a sister.” Enjoy.
She walks the streets with her head bowed down, for that is how a woman is supposed to walk.
She bends low when she touches her elders’ feet, for that is what a woman is supposed to do, bend.
When men touch her in places she does not wish to be touched she does nothing, because that is what a woman is supposed to do, stay silent.
She confines herself to the kitchen and the children, because that is what a woman was made for, chores.
She does not fight back when her husband hits her, because that is what a woman is, the weaker vessel.
She will cry when she is raped, but silently, without making a noise or protesting, because that is what a woman is supposed to do, take it.
I am a woman of the 21st century and I refuse to follow these norms. I refuse to bow down to society. I refuse to not roam the streets at a time that I find adequate and in clothes that I find adequate because I will be termed as “asking for it.” I refuse to be called a “slut” or a “whore” in a world where a man is called a “boss.” I refuse to walk away wordlessly when I am wolf-whistled at.
In a country where an average of 93 rapes take place every day, the question of the safety of a woman is more prominent now, than ever before.
In a country where a protesting woman is manhandled, her clothes are torn, and she is humiliated, in the middle of a busy street, and not a single person utters a word.. In a country where the police arrive 30 minutes after receiving the news of this very incident and spend another 30 minutes watching the show, is there hope for a woman?
Does she not have the right to wear what she wants? Does she not have the right to say what she believes? Does she not have the right to walk on a road bustling with people?
Every once in a while, a woman breaks free of the chains that hold this society down. She delivers revolutionary speeches and creates a small-but powerful niche for herself in this abused society. But at the end of the day, she is but a woman. A meagre vessel made for the sole purpose of reproduction. Forgive my harsh categorization, but these are not my ideals. These are the opinions of some of the men that this country calls their sons. These are the ideals of some of the boys for whom families so ruthlessly engage in female foeticide; the spawn, who overshadows the daughter that is being oppressed.
For every woman that is raped in a pub, a probable culprit should be banned from entering it.
For every woman that is eve-teased, a man who thinks it is okay to do that should be put behind bars.
For every woman that is physically harassed, a misogynist should be prohibited from stepping out on the streets past 7.
For every woman that is called a slut, just because she wears clothes that make her feel comfortable, or beautiful, a man who stares at her, who makes advances towards her, should be slapped across his face.
For every woman that is raped, a rapist should be hanged by the neck.
What happened to the pledge that you took every morning in school? Did you forget that as well, along with the values that you were instilled with by your parents, and the education that you boast so proudly about?
“India is my country, and all Indians are my brothers and sisters.”
If this is the way that you expect your sister to be treated, dear men, then I’m afraid the problem lies in your inability to keep it in your pants. If you want your sister to be whistled at, if you want your sister to be stalked, if you want your sister to be touched by unknown men, do continue to call that pretty girl that walks down the street an “item.”
But if you even have the thought of it, consider this.
What gives you the right to call yourself a man?
She is your mother. She is your sister.
But most of all, she is a person. And if you are unable to look past your self inflated ego to see that a person deserves dignity, irrespective of gender, who are you to call yourself one?
In a country where some men think that a woman is created to be raped, it is time we stopped associating a woman, with a word like abala, because a woman is only an abala when you make her one. It is time we stopped blaming the women.
If a man can do what he chooses to, so can a woman.
Until the country starts respecting a woman for the epitome of strength that she is, I refuse to celebrate Women’s Day.