I watched Satyameve Jayate the other night. It got me thinking.
When you talk to someone about they say ”Tere aas paas nahi ho raha hai toh tu kyu mood kharab kar rahi hai? ” and ” But you people get reservations everywhere, so it evens out “.
1.) Educated men our age wouldn’t even know how we have been faced with the situation of “a girl over a boy” THROUGHOUT our lives. It is not like it hasn’t happened with me over a hundred times. It is not unusual, when I tell someone about me or my family, to ask - “So you don’t have any brothers?” It is very regular. Rather a custom, to pose this question. EVERYONE does that.
Do you realize how WRONG it is to talk like this? IN FRONT of the girls? You are saying to them that their parents don’t want them? That they don’t have a right to exist? That random strangers can be rude to them just because they are girls? What is it about girls that you hate so much?
What, about having two daughters, makes them so uncomfortable? Heck! People have children because they WANT to have children. Some people are in LOVE with each other and become pregnant and get moony-eyed ideas about wanting to create a family together.
Why are some people so distressed by little girls?
No one has the answers, of course. Only preconceived, borrowed ideas and conditioned responses.
I feel sorry.
2.) And Yes! I have stood in the “Ladies Line” at booths and ticket counters. Yes, I have seats reserved for me in the city buses. Yes, I do get favours, and get encouraged because I’m a girl. I agree.
But do I not need all that? Do I need to be being ‘brushed against’, ‘bumped against’, ‘ogled at’, ‘touched’ or ‘grabbed’ every time I go out of the house? Do I deserve THAT? Is that ALL I am worth?
When I walk alone, I walk with all my senses on alert. I walk with aggression and hold a bag or something protectively against me, with my elbows ever-ready to shove someone in case they touch me. Do you know how stressful it is to walk like that, protecting yourself constantly, without letting your guard down? Do you realise how painful it is to think that you can’t enjoy a good walk alone for the fear of being touched by a creep? Do you realize how restricting, how rage-inducing, how utterly defeating it is to be that way every day? Do men understand why women hold on to their men tight? Why they ask their men to ask for directions, buy a pack of cigarettes or walk half a step behind, very close to their men?
It is difficult to be always on guard, always watchful, always wary.
Men. Why cannot they control their urges?
My questions are these:
1. What is it that makes some men violate a woman’s personal space and touch her? Who gives them the right to do that and think it’s bloody okay?
2. What is it that separates a molester from a regular man? What makes two men look at a woman and react in two different ways: One checks her out, finds her appealing and stops with that, while the other one reaches out and touches her? What is that essential difference? Lack of control? Lack of decency? Bad upbringing? A disdain for women?
3. Do they also look at the women in their home with the same filth in their eyes with which they look at my breasts or butt or thighs? I mean to ask do these men who touch women without their permission on the streets also touch their women — mothers, wives, sisters — at home? Are these, in effect, perpetrators of incest? Or is it just other women they feel comfortable grabbing?
4. Are women responsible for these men having absolutely no fear to touch, grope, or expose themselves to women? Have years of “just ignore him” behaviour emboldened these men to do as they please? Would a man think twice if he had been beaten by a woman for touching her or passing a lewd comment at her?
I don’t know how many women can safely say that they have never been molested in their lives. If they’ve been out in a public space, it doesn’t matter what they are wearing, whether they are in great shape, whether they’re lovely to look at or just plain, they will have been grabbed.
Every woman has been a victim. And talking about it is embarrassing. One touch, and it feels as if our whole existence is worthless. Every one of us has gone through some incident that has left some impact on the way we carry ourselves today.
They stare at me,
Scan me head to toe.
Their sight lingering at places.
I feel naked,
Stripped off and raped.
They touch me,
Just an accident each time.
Shamelessly smiling all the while.
My flesh becomes numb,
As if hacked into pieces
And ready to be served.
I am ashamed of them.
They make me feel
That my birth was a sin,
And my body- a curse;
That I am nothing
But a chunk of juicy meat.
And here we’re not even talking about things like talking to our breasts instead of talking to us.
And we do not have to go as far as high numbers to know how deeply we hate our women. Start in a home. A number of girls glow with pride when someone tells them they are tomboyish. A girl child, these days, is constantly being pushed to doing everything a boy child does. To the extent that dolls or breakfast/kitchens sets will not be bought for the girl lest she think that is her “role” in life, to nurture and cook. What they are actually doing is taking their little girls away from what might be their natural tendency.
While a boy may hang from doors, a girl will hang on to a thought, develop it and use it later in conversation. A boy might be able to identify cars well before he’s three, but a girl may be identifying behavior pointers, books and tapping an imagination that may or may not turn her into an entertaining drama queen later in life.
We’re telling our women to not be emotional at work because it undermines our authority. We’re telling women to not take days off to be with our kids when they are sick because it gives us a reputation of being unreliable.We’re telling our women - don’t wear distracting earrings, try and avoid bright feminine colours in corporate settings, we’re telling our women keep our hair short because it’s easier to manage and is less distracting, we’re telling our women to not cry like a girl, to compete like a boy and to be everything a man is, except shirtless.
What we’re telling our women is that it’s more fun to be a guy than to be a girl. Subtle, and unconscious, but we teach our children to dislike women much before they can even say misogyny.
Why does this comparison even come in? Boys and Girls need not be the same, in order to be equal. Raising a girl like a boy is in no way- “a better way of life”. Sending daughters to school, educating them, and loving them should not need to include “like a son” in the sentence.
I don’t want to have a daughter.
I thought so too. But truth be told, I would love to have a daughter. Teach her the right things in life. Raise her like a girl.
Like charity begins at home, the change in attitude also needs to begin at home. Parents need to teach their girls AND boys how to respect the other gender. That large dose of morals which our parents seem to love pushing down our throats from the time we’re born could be safely halved and shared with the sons as well.
Men and Women are not the same. They need not be so, to be equal. Equality merely means not treating women any differently from men.
We don’t want to end up with one gender.
Stuff from -
“Do girls make you uncomfortable?” – Natasha Badhwar for Live Mint