Some would argue that women today have reached a point where they enjoy the same freedom their male counterparts have. And they would be right in saying so as the evidence is right in front of them. Compare the lives of women now and a hundred years ago and the difference is obvious. In fact we dont even have to go back a hundred years to make a comparison. Talk about the last 20-30 years and there has been a paradigm shift. Women have made some incredible leaps and bounds and they alone should receive all the credit. But that’s not really what i want to talk about here today. Surely women have accomplished a lot by themselves and their talents; we as a society have almost always been a hurdle in their path. Every success story has met with resistance at some point or the other.
The image that people have of an indian woman is that of a simple person who “enjoys” domesticated living. The roles aren’t specified here really but she is expected to pick up the slack domestically where men have the freedom to do whatever. And the sad truth is that if there is any deviation on her part from this expectation, society is quick to stamp a stigma on her. That she is somehow at fault for not willing to be confined and perhaps her parents must not have raised her well. While she may be “allowed” in some cases to pursue her dreams and get the level of education she wants; deep down it is seen as a boost to her profile for marriage suitability. It is not met with the same seriousness as a man’s ambition to succeed at work. It is often seen as something she does, but eventually gives up post marriage. because thats where her focus should be. Having babies, raising a family, doing everything alone and never raising any questions.
What troubles me most is that women themselves forget to fight for their own daughters. It is quite the opposite. After having lived a life of oppression in the past, they force the same life right back on their children. Women themselves want their own flesh and blood to give up on their dreams and bend to the patriachal ways of the society. Just to avoid jabs from onlookers and worrying about what people might say, they join the ranks on the opposite side and add to an already tough life. People who have no business interfering with her life and who have no direct consequence to her. Forget family members and relatives, even the people you live around start talking about this person if she refuses to get married by a “respectable age”.
Our mindset and the mindset of our judicial system and law enforcement is outdated to say the least. There was a case in New Delhi a few years ago where a young girl was physically abused inside a moving bus for hours. This caused a large scale rebellion and everyone was outraged. However, we had government officials, holding important posts saying,”It was her fault because she was out late at night. She had no business being there. Women, in doing so, invite rape upon themselves.” And this isnt the first case. And that’s the problem. If we refuse to acknowledge a problem, if we refuse to see that no one invites rape upon themselves then what the hell are we doing? Safety of women isnt really a problem for them because they believe that a woman should be inside her house before sunset. We live in a country where women have to fight to be heard. What troubled me the most is that when the accused was questioned, he was puzzled and he had no idea what he was being held for. In his opinion he had done nothing wrong and that’s where the problem lies.
When you view women as objects then the crimes committed against them become invisible. A young lady was very recently threatened with rape for speaking her mind on social media. It was all over the place. The police were handed the names and details of those threatening her but in the end nothing was done. Eventually she had to withdraw her protest and disappear. Another victory for the patriarch, another crushing defeat for women everywhere.
And the trouble begins at home. Right there. It is right there where these values are neglected and children aren’t taught respect and sensitivity right from an early age. It becomes a problem when women themselves force their own daughters to wilt away under pressure from society and accept their outdated ideas. It becomes a problem when you see don’t take their ambition seriously. It becomes a problem when you see the modern indian woman with the same eyes as she’s always been seen. It becomes a problem when you refuse to grow up and move with the times. It becomes a problem when you sit back and enjoy your freedom and do nothing while women worry about their safety every single day.
The indian woman has a lot of pressure riding on her shoulders and it is considered her job description to appease everyone. Her husband, her kids, her in-laws, her neighbours, her relatives and it appears no matter how much she tries, there is just no one on her corner. The world stands against her with judging eyes, careful scrutiny and a moral whip. Yes, times have changes and the things i have written here dont apply to everyone but this is the large scale demographic.
When you acknowledge a problem, when you start realising that basic human rights are being denied, only then will something be done about it. Turning a blind eye to issues such as these is root cause for their sustained survival. Educate your children to treat women with respect and then when you are done with that, take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror and change the way you see women. It is time to change your perception and it is time to defend your daughters against these parasites who contribute nothing but devour every single ounce of human spirit. Bring about a change, and start with your own household. Start with yourself.