Walking down a street is not a big deal, anyone can do it, right? But what if the person doing this is a female? What if this is a somewhat deserted street and it is late in the evening? Now, if something bad happens to this female the reaction of many among us would be – “Why did she go there at such a time? Why did she go alone? I bet she was wearing jeans/skirt/shorts!”
The worst part is, the people with such reactions actually are caring for that female person; they are convinced they are right and that they are trying to save her.
Am I wrong?
How many of us have done or heard these statements – “Beta don’t wear that it is showing more skin” or “Take your brother with you” or “Straighten your dupatta” or “stand/sit properly” or “Don’t talk/laugh so loudly” – can anyone say that the person giving these advices be it a mother, brother, father or friend was not concerned about the safety of some female person in their life? No. They are convinced they are doing the right thing by saying all this and still India is amongst the top countries in the world with the highest rate of violence against women.
#INeverAskForIt is a not just a hashtag, it’s a movement to attack the root of one of the biggest social problem of India. Violence against any person be it female, male, young or old; has to be stopped and the most important step to achieve this is to start changing our words and thoughts.
Why should anyone be in a defensive mode when they are heading outside? This video by the Blank Noise asks a powerful question to everyone –
In the last decade alone there are registered cases of rapes where victim was a child, middle aged woman and even a nun! How could they have worn anything or done anything that could provoke their abusers?
Abusing someone, be it a rape or just an eve teasing, has more to do with exerting power over someone seen or considered “weak” than the clothes someone is wearing.
Rape, domestic violence, street harassment, verbal abuse; there are many types of crimes that come under Violence Against Women. And the causes are not in the way the victim carry themselves or what they wear; the cause of this violence is in our thoughts where we have been conditioned through generations that “weaker” needs protection. In doing so we have divided and raised a part of this society to be weaker and part of the society who consider themselves to be stronger. This divide has led to those seeing themselves as strong to exert their power which eventually leads to some type of crime.
Today, there are many people among us that are redefining the gender roles but we as society do not always support them. It’s time we change the way we think and raise the next generation with not just acts but the thoughts of equality. Gender is only divided by body structure the strength comes from mind. Likewise, respect cannot be taught in the value education class alone it has to be shown in every aspect, towards every individual; that is when the divide of “weak” and “strong” is lessened.
Let us create a better world and change the way we think let’s start believing the victim so there may come a time that there are no victims.