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‘That Slap On Gauhar Khan’s Face Is A Slap On The Face Of Humanity’

More from Urni Ganguly

By Somrita Urni Ganguly:

“Remember how she had once danced to ‘hua chhokra jawaan re’?”, I overheard a young man tell his friend at JNU’s Ganga Dhaba last evening.
“Yes, so?”, the friend asked in answer.
“So nothing! Ab chhokri jawaan hai, chhokra jawaan hai, ye toh hona hi tha!” And he burst into fits of laughter.

gauhar khan
Gauhar Khan has been trending on Facebook for the last couple of days. The actor was slapped by a member of the audience, Mohammad Akil Malik, while she was shooting for a reality television show in Mumbai’s FilmCity. The assailant is said to have been objecting to Khan’s ‘immodest outfit’ and her dancing to ‘raunchy’ numbers. Evidently, good Muslim women are not allowed to do that. It’s improper. Good Muslim men, can however try and get cozy with such a woman in public and even slap her. That is proper, decorous behavior, of course!

The slap on Khan’s face, in my mind, is a slap on all that we have been fighting for since the 1960s. Despite all the waves of feminism flooding the world, there remains a Malik in many of us still. The man who slapped the actor was guilty, certainly. But are the young scholars whom I heard laughing, at the actor for her choice of roles in certain mainstream Bollywood movies entirely innocent?

Malik seems to have confessed that Khan’s clothes titillated him and he slapped her so as to be able to teach her a lesson. She will think twice now before wearing a short skirt, he told the police. And of course women should just stop wearing short skirts on screen, he further argued, since that happens to “damage the brain” of young men. Neat. So neat.

For argument’s sake, let us agree for a moment that every woman wearing clothes with hemlines above the knees is promiscuous, and that such women need to be slapped and rectified and brought back on track so that they do not stray into a life of whoring. All right. Now, what about women wearing sarees? What about women wearing the burqa and the hijab?

What about the dalit woman in some remote corner of this country who has no time to think about dilettante things like dresses and needs to work in the fields to feed her family? Why is such a woman found lying outside the village, at the burning ghat one morning, raped and mutilated?

What about that little child playing in a field, absolutely unaware of how her dress flying up as she sits on a sea-saw, revealing a little of her innocent flesh, can some how incite adult thoughts in a pedophile lurking behind the bushes? Why is such a child found lying in her neighbour’s abandoned garage one morning, raped and mutilated?

What about the seventy year old woman, way past her prime, and therefore according to the Delhi High Court, incapable of being raped (definitely, women are no different from cows; as long as they are fertile, as long as they give milk, as long as they procreate, they are of value; beyond that age you can sell the cow for its meat; beyond that age you can engage in forceful intercourse with such a woman but of course since her womb is of no value to anybody anymore, it is not going to be seen as rape)? Why is such a woman found lying in her empty apartment one morning, raped and mutilated?

What about the young boy studying in a boarding school in Darjeeling, clad in his boy shorts and starched shirt and polished shoes? Why is such an adolescent found lying in a washroom one morning, raped and mutilated by his Physics teacher?

What about that teenage girl, covered in days of dirt, begging for money at a traffic signal in Mumbai? Why is such a girl found lying in a ditch one morning, raped and mutilated?

What about Nirbhaya? Why was she found lying on the road, raped and mutilated on a cold December night two years ago?

Gauhar Khan might have been wearing a short skirt the unfortunate day that she got slapped. But even the hijab cannot guarantee your protection. We may pretend to be domesticated but deep within we are animals. And each such report of violence and sexual crime only confirms my fears. Society tries to trap us with its ideologies of wrong-doings and right-doings, with its hypocritical, convoluted, complex codes of conduct. But it has failed to tame and contain the animal spirits within the social animals that it has been producing, harbouring and nurturing.

An article of this sort should conventionally end on a note of positivity; with some hope. But I seem to have descended into that zone that Jonathan Swift had once lived in and come out declaring to Alexander Pope in a letter, “I heartily hate and detest that animal called man.”

That slap on Gauhar Khan’s face is a slap on the face of humanity and it is time we saw it the way it is. Statistics say there are some 18,000 lions left on earth; 3,200 tigers, 200,000 leopards, 15,000 jaguars, 70,000 bald eagles, 700 gorillas, 400,000 elephants, 28,000 rhinos and 7,000,000,000 humans. Seven billion. Isn’t it time we stopped? Just stopped?

For the ones more optimistic than I am, here’s hoping you find positive answers to some of these questions. And do share them with me here. And while you’re looking for answers I’ll share with you what a fellow research scholar told me this morning – “It’s interesting how Malik first tried to get fresh with Khan and then got miffed when she asserted herself. It was after that that he slapped her”, Janani M Kandhadai rightly pointed out – and this fact is important because in our attempts to make the woman appear as a helpless, hapless victim, we seem to have completely overlooked her agency. Janani also finds it curious that “they wanted to test his blood alcohol levels” – as if that would explain everything, that would excuse everything, that would justify everything.

Let us not try so hard to justify our existence as humans anymore! We are not worth it, perhaps. The world is burning. And we are only fuelling it.

And in the meantime, news has arrived of a three year old girl child allegedly raped twice by the peon of her school.

You must be to comment.
  1. Babar

    This is the double standard on which feminism thrives. Why wasn’t Salman Khan being slapped by a drunk girl news? Because in a misandrist Indian society, a girl slapping a boy is perfectly acceptable. The only difference is, Salman Khan asked his guards to escort the girl out politely while Gauhar Khan’s perpetrator is in jail. That is the difference between men and women.

    1. Urni

      Dear Babar, the following link will direct you to an article that talks of men being raped. In the 9th paragraph of my article I have questioned the society that overlooks men being raped. Not all of us are as prejudiced as you think we are, or in fact as biased as you are. Thank you. Rest in peace. http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2014/12/male-rape-in-india/

    2. Babar

      My comment has nothing to do with male rape. I am talking about the double standards of the media and society.

    3. Urni

      One should call it double standards if the media and the society did not condemn acts which you have pointed out as condemnable. I sent you the link to that article and gave you a reference from my own article to suggest that we are not sitting in quiet approval of what you happened to point out. And please do not say that your comment has nothing to do with male rape after writing what you just did below – “KIndly tell me why women rape and mutilate men with false cases of dowry, rape, domestic abuse, gain lacs in settlements, alimony, and usurp half of a man’s property after a divorce?”

    4. Babar

      You live in a different tome zone. I only showed you the difference between the response of a man (Salman Khan) and a woman (Gauhar Khan) who were victims of the same kind of violence. Men forgive, women don’t. Men have a heart. Women don’t. Even in marriages, men overlook violence by women.

    5. Babar

      tome time

    6. Urni

      “Men forgive, women don’t. Men have a heart.” Ha. Ha. Ha. Okay. As you say. Exactly as you say, good sire. =)

    7. Urni

      “Men forgive, women don’t. Men have a heart. Women don’t.” Ha. Ha. Ha. Okay. As you say. Exactly as you say, good sire. =)

    8. Babar

      Men are slaughtered daily and it does not make news. Men are murdered, kidnapped, raped, burnt alive, victims of domestic abuse, accused falsely of dowry, throats slit, butchered, and cut to pieces. But a woman gets slapped and it makes headlines. When Salman Khan was slapped, why was there no uproar? When Boko Haram cuts little boys to pieces, why the silence? But kidnap a few Nigerian girls and the media and feminists suddenly wake up.

    9. Akshita Prasad

      Well, Salman Khan wasn’t slapped because he was a guy, it had nothing to do with his sex or his clothes. And yes, if he wishes to he sure could have taken the issue up and done something about it, but he personally chose no to. I am not supporting the girl who slapped him, she is sure wrong. And the guy who slapped Gauhar Khan said that he did so because she was wearing short clothes despite of being a Muslim. The former instance shows a spoilt brat on the loose, misbehaving, and I feel Salman Khan should have taken it up, too. But in Gauhar Khan’s case it was about sexism and narrow mindsets, that keep us from growing as people and also as a nation. We still are trapped in a cage of hypocrisy and misinterpreted traditions .

    10. Ananya

      Your logic is that if the same thing is happening to guys, it justifies that the incidents are happening with women?? If my house was robbed and I did not take any action and now your house is robbed and you try to get justice, I’ll say nahi, I can now stop you from fighting for justice! If men are killed, it justifies women being killed? Isn’t that truly barbaric? Nobody stopped you or anyone else from going around protecting men’s rights. In fact we’d all be behind you if you did that. So just stop giving the same replies for all feminist articles.

  2. Babar

    KIndly tell me why women rape and mutilate men with false cases of dowry, rape, domestic abuse, gain lacs in settlements, alimony, and usurp half of a man’s property after a divorce?

    1. Urni

      Dear Babar, the following link will direct you to an article that talks of men being raped. In the 9th paragraph of my article I have questioned the society that overlooks men being raped. Not all of us are as prejudiced as you think we are, or in fact as biased as you are. Thank you. Rest in peace. http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2014/12/male-rape-in-india/

    2. Babar

      The article whose link you have pasted is a rare occurrence on this blog, and it has been written by a man. Also, men writing for women’s rights incessantly is common, but how many women write on men’s issues?

    3. Urni

      Do you realise that I am a woman? That I am the author of the above article? And that I too seem to condemn that which you have just pointed out? It does seem a little pointless to carry this discussion on further since you are far too rigid to look at anybody else’s point of view. And I do not jump to conclusions – my observations are a consequence of your relentless comments on previous articles published on this website.

    4. Babar

      Your article talks about female rape, and about Gauhar Khan, who is a woman. You are not fighting for men’s rights. Please take your propaganda elsewhere.

    5. Urni

      Paragraph Nine. Okay? Thank you, wise-man.

    6. Babar

      You don’t understand simple English. Your article is about women’s rights. Including one little paragraph, and that too trying to show male on male rape is not favouring men.

    7. Urni

      Great, thank you. I am intolerant. I am prejudiced. And I am unapologetic. Sounds fair, finally? Let us leave it at that. =)

    8. Babar

      Playing victims comes naturally to women.

    9. Templetwins

      In the 9th paragraph of my article I have questioned the society that overlooks men being raped.

      No you didn’t, a young boy is not a man. Society is concerned about women and children which includes boys to a certain extent. Talk about adult men being raped by women, which you people conveniently ignore. At best you people pay a lip service to the issues affect men such as rape, violence but when it comes to action, it is totally different.

      For example Kavita Krishnan who is an author of YKA found ‘gender neutrality of the anti-rape bill as one of the glaring problems’ and she insisted that anti-rape bill shouldn’t include male rape victims who are raped by women. That is feminism in action, while most feminist, including herself will say ‘men can be raped by women too’ to appear egalitarian and to make their bigotry not so obvious for the less intelligent.

    10. Arunima

      you might wanna read a few statistics before jumping to conclusions and fighting the world for men’s rights. Women and the problems that come with being one is talked about so much, because women, ALL OF US, know what it’s like to walk on the road, at any time of the day, in any city, and it sucks. If the prevelant culture believes in doing nothing but blaming women for every other psycho that loses his mind, It’s big damn problem.
      I never heard anyone question a guy’s dressing sense when he was raped. The rapist in that case is a rapist. I wish the same respect was bestowed upon women. That is the problem.
      Whoever slapped Salman (if that happened) was obviously stupid and it should be condemned but in this case, this guy did not just slap her, but also talked so much nonsense about how she provoked him and that’s why he slapped her. That is the problem.
      Women are faced with problems from when they are born, even before(female infanticide) and it goes on till they die.
      The government decides they can make stupid laws regarding till what age a woman can be raped. That is the problem.
      Everyone condemns rapes dude, we all stand against it. But if you stop with this Chant and look around a little, it’s not that easy being a woman when literally the whole world is telling you what to do, how to dress, where to go/not to go, and you still end up getting molested, harrassed, mistreated, raped, killed and then told it was your fault! That my friend, is the problem.

      It’s not men’s right v/s women rights and it’s not about who can slap whom. It’s just as stupid both ways. What we are talking about is much bigger than that. Now, some fun facts for you!
      http://everydayfeminism.com/courses/

    11. Urni

      Arunima THANK YOU. And the capital letters aren’t even as loud as I’d like them to scream my thanks out to you. =)

    12. Babar

      The link for Salman Khan being slapped has been pasted in the very first comment. And while we talk about rape culture, we should also talk about the false rape culture, where women go around raping and falsely accusing men of rape and destroy their lives (video below), not to mention perpetrating domestic violence and false accusations of domestic violence, and harass men for dowry under 498A. Women’s crimes outweigh men’s, but the media sympathizes with women’s causes only because it is good for business.

    13. Arunima

      If you know how to read, please find the link I also shared that talks about the percentage of false cases filed. Like, 3%! As compared to the huge numbers of culprits who never get the punishment they deserve.
      Anyway, I just wanted to ask, do you have anything to do other than spamming every article that talks about gender based violence and the problems associated with being the Second Sex(it’s a book, try reading for once) with your Chauvinistic posts that make absolutely no sense to anyone other than you?
      Trust me you don’t need to do that here. We have half of the world to fight. Might as well relax and watch some more of this tragedy unfold in the lives of women while you formulate your MRA agenda! 🙂

    14. Babar

      The male population in India is 655 million. 3% of that would far exceed all the crimes against women.

    15. Arunima

      And the population of women in India is 614.4 million. Do the math. I honestly don’t think you’re a real person, or you have a single clue about what you mean to say, but If 3% of 655million is a lot, 1 out of 5 in a population of 614.4 million is a number that just proved how nonsensical everything you’ve been saying is.
      But it’s fine. Post some more senseless numbers that prove no point other than the fact that you have no idea what to say, Chauvinist!

    16. Babar

      You are a liar, just like a typical feminist. A woman in India gets raped every 30 minutes. That is LESS than 3% of the male population in India. Crimes against men far exceed those against women, be it false cases of rape, dowry, or domestic violence, but they are not highlighted by the media because the media has nothing to gain out of it, as people sympathize only with women’s issues.

    17. Fem

      But rape is not the only crime against woman my dear friend Babar. How about a couple of facts:
      (1) Stats leading to the claim about rape every 30 minutes is based on the reported cases which we all (except you) know is just the tip of the titanic sinking iceberg.
      (2) When we say that 3% are fake cases, it means 97% are real rape cases. Howz that for sexual violence against women?

      No one is happy about 3% of the fake rape cases. Or any fake cases for that matter. Not all of us are hate-filled like you, you know. But what we do not agree with is to suppress women’s causes because men are suffering too. The need should be get better and fairer laws in place. Not go around beating women who already have been beaten enough.

      But of course I am wasting my words on you here.

    18. TempleTwins

      The official statistics on false rape is ranging from 3-7% and you feminist would most likely to take the lowest number. Then to the fact that any drunken women is a victim and her consent is invalid is another problematic narrative which makes rapist out of innocent men and if you add to that, it goes beyond all the numbers pointing female victimization.

      When we say that 3% are fake cases, it means 97% are real rape cases. Howz that for sexual violence against women?

      You claimed to be an MBA if my memory goes right, I don’t have to teach you about how % works. Lets say in a battle comprised of 50 men and 2 women, 5 men and 1 women died, you can construct it in such a way that 50% of women died and only 10% of men died. Percentage doesn’t tell the actual number even if more men died when compared to that of women.

    19. Fem

      @Templetwin

      How lovely is that you use the word feminism to brand and shame me. As if (1) it is a different specie altogether, and (2) sub-human on top of it.

      Anyway – 3% is coming from the discussion above. I didn’t go looking for this number actively. If it was stated 3% – 7% I would have used that term. It might shock you to read this statement in a ‘feminist’ person’s comment but lessening a number doesn’t makes anything wrong less wrong. If 3% is wrong then 7% is wrong too. Even 0.01% is wrong. What difference does it make? An innocent person caught in a humiliating and destroying situation is a sad state to behold. It destroys lives. These 3%-7% false rape cases destroy lives the same way 93%-97% real rapes do. What are we fighting over here I am unable to understand. A wrong is a wrong. Doesn’t matter to whom it happens.

      To the drunken woman and consent topic which you have raised here, I can only say that you are looking at it from text based examples/thought process. Any sane guy has the maturity and thinking ability to understand when is a woman consenting and when is she not. Drunk or not. Its not very difficult to decode this 2 letter word ‘No’. Just stop. Why force yourself when the person is saying no? At least all the men I have known can make out the difference and known when to go ahead and and when to step back. When in doubt just stop and step back! Or better still do not wait for ‘no’ to stop. Wait for ‘yes’ to start. May save you and the woman.

      “You claimed to be an MBA” – Keeping tabs on my education, are you?

      Stats and % – I know how stats and percentages work. I am a statistician (file this in your memory too). Now let me tell you why your statement and example is factually right but contextually wrong. Your are right about the fact that % give a wrong picture when the numbers are 50 and 2. And that is because these are ‘very small numbers’. If the numbers are very small and does not represent the universe then the % would show inaccurate results. But there are 2 things to keep in mind here:

      1) The male to female ratio is not 50:2. If that was the case then we could have taken these numbers and discussed. But with a caveat. Which takes me to my next point

      2) This is a very small number for taking the %. So when we have this small number we do not talk in terms of percentages but in terms of counts.

      The above points means that the assessment which would come out of 50:2 situation would only be indicative with a huge margin of error making it a very unstable result.

      So rather than talking about the made up number and situation lets talk about something which does make sense. We have a male to female ratio of 655:614. So we do not have 50:2 ratio here. Again I do not understand what you are driving at. Rather than doing a tally of men and women on who is getting the shorter end of the stick more number of times can we just take them both as humans (yet again a shocker from a feminist) and worry about the innocents being oppressed (regardless of gender) and discuss rationally on how can we make this country a better place than what it is now?

      Phew!… Going again and again in same circle makes one tired

    20. ItsJustMe

      Discuss rationally is exactly what we need to do. We also need to highlight news rationally. I understand why so many men are against all gender violence articles. It is because over the last 2 years, media and feminists have targeted Indian men like they are animals. Like they go to work,eat lunch and rape someone on their way back. So here is a statistic that feminists never talk about
      Adjusted for population growth over time, the annual rape rate in India has increased from 1.9 to 2.0 per 100,000 people over 2008-2012 period.This compares to a reported rape rate of 24.1 per 100,000 in United Kingdom, 28.6 per 100,000 in United States, 66.5 per 100,000 in Sweden, and world’s highest rate of 114.9 rapes per 100,000 in South Africa.
      (India is a country where 20% of the world population lives. So obviously India will have higher number of crimes because we just have more people. Example Kerala reported almost as much crimes as Australia last year. Because it has 30 million people roughly the population of Australia. That is why rape per 100000 people is a better statistic). Rapes may be under reported in India, so we can assume a 200% increase to that figure, 8 out of 100000 people gets raped in India. 28.6 in USA,24.1 in UK. Does that mean men in USA and UK are perpetual rapists? You still have more chance of getting killed by road accidents (10 out 100000 people are victims of road accidents) in India, I do not see mass outrage on road safety (which definitely is an issue we need to concentrate on). When an incident occurs between 2 people, when will you feminists learn to see it as a problem between 2 individuals and not between genders. Isn’t that sexist? Why dont you blame all muslim people also for it because the man was a muslim right?
      You see how you are turning men away from this movement. Indian man today is globally seen as an icon female oppression thanks to feminazis in India. Not men in Saudi Arabia, not men in UK, South Africa where rape is a much bigger problem but India. Trust me I was happy that the movement started in India, I was rooting for it too, but when feminists tried to turn everything against men and their attitude, I thought why should I care? I should protect the reputation of my gender and race too right. So this incident for me is between an ignorant male chauvinist and another individual. There are men fighting with each other all the time, so do women. Yes this incident needs to be talked about, because obviously she is a famous persona. But do not try to make it about male attitude in India.

  3. findingffeminism

    Hi urni, the Delhi court Incident was actually not wat it was portrayed.. The actual news article was modified. Ignore Babur.. He s a brainless swine n nothing else!! And it is people like him who slap, molest n rape women.. It is irritating tat he was sent fr a test. Everything is justified so easily!!

    1. Babar

      Thanks for proving my point about the kind of language feminists use when a man talks about his rights. Try as hard as you may, you will not be able to bring me down to your level.

    2. Abhishek

      Are you for real bro?

    3. Arunima

      If you know how to read, please find the link I also shared that talks about the percentage of false cases filed. Like, 3%! As compared to the huge numbers of culprits who never get the punishment they deserve.
      Anyway, I just wanted to ask, do you have anything to do other than spamming every article that talks about gender based violence and the problems associated with being the Second Sex(it’s a book, try reading for once) with your Chauvinistic posts that make absolutely no sense to anyone other than you?
      Trust me you don’t need to do that here. We have half of the world to fight. Might as well relax and watch some more of this tragedy unfold in the lives of women while you formulate your MRA agenda! 🙂

    4. laloo

      Actually what is going to be, today women freedom means nearing less and less clothes. If women/girls wear sleeves or dresses above above knees then I think men/boys should walk in underwear on the road. Isn’t it? What has happened with gouhar is totally right and it should be with others too. They are role models and what they are teaching our younger generations. You are in the Bollywood to show your art and talent, not your body. If you want to show how much hot you are, there are other means too. Its a long discussion matter, I am amazed to hear to those feminists favouring women who are spoiling our society. What is this yaar?

    5. findingffeminism

      Wat is our society or culture according to the guardians of society?? Making every girls life their business. What she wears, where she goes, what time she should not be on the roads, whom she should marry.. Basically moral policing the women saying ‘ our society is corrupted by skirts of these women.’… But when a man is a serial killer or rapist, no one talks about society, because it is in our culture to forgive men, because ‘ boys will be boys, they do mistakes’. This is a society where u can slap, rape , throw acid or kill a woman for ‘ honour ‘ because everyone has to teach a lesson to a woman who doesn’t abide by the ‘culture’. U are supporting a molester saying what he did was right because you can’t tolerate a woman having guts to show legs! When a man is wearing lungi, I’m saying lungi because a skirt is not equal to underwear , does anyone slap him and say ‘ hey man don’t you know don’t show legs but your talent shit?’ Nope.. He s a man.. And this is a patriarchal society..

    6. ItsJustMe

      @Findingffeminism it is not the duty of society or people in the country to approve of whatever your views in life are. You cannot force them to approve it. If a man cannot approve of women wearing shorts, its his opinion, he probably won’t marry someone who loves to wear these clothes. That is him having a preference in the kind of partner he wants, like women do not want men who drink too much or has a freaky hairstyle. Why does that bother you? Feminism is not about forcing everyone to accept whatever you do. If you have made an unconventional choice, be brave enough to accept it is unconventional and stick with it despite what society thinks. Women in India are weak, you know why they are weak? Because they wait around till everyone in her family accept her choice, then she waits for the neighbors and society to accept it. A strong woman thinks straight forward. I like it, I am gonna do it, she does not need to think about social acceptance. That is why feminism is ridiculous in practice. Because half of the so called feminists think it is about making everyone say they approve of whatever women choose to do

  4. Urni

    Babar has come to save the world. All hail! =)

    1. Arunima

      You’re most welcome Urni! 🙂
      Honestly though this doesn’t sound like a person. More like some robot set to type and post the absurd most things that any misogynistic creature could come up with. Keeps getting funnier

    2. Shayna

      Dear Urni,

      A very well written article and I could feel the angry typing and a sigh of being disparaged in this society of ‘ours’, which is rather only a society of ‘theirs’.

      The problem with people is stereotyping and thinking its a ‘them vs us’ issue and that it is a fight. Every time, someone talks about feminists, they associate stereotypes with them and autonomously have a closed mind to their appeals, ideas, concerns. If a man is a feminist, however, often times, people tend to listen to him or at least give him a chance of having a two way conversation. This, right here, is the problem.
      The word feminism should be replaced by Kyriarchy for better understanding to those, who need more time than others to get a simple point- It is a fight for taking away the rights from people to do what they want to based on their gender, sexuality, religion, caste, colour, choice of clothes, etc. Its not about who speaks for which issue or rather which gender more but about speaking against injustice at all.
      No, its not a battle between genders. Its the issue of being discriminated and to loose a simple concept of ‘being an individual’. Men, Women, others, everyone have the right of living in freedom but, there is none. To some, its taken away to a larger degree and to others it’s under process. However, every time one is deprived of it, its an issue. A victim is a victim. period.
      We forget that every single case, where a sentient being is tortured and is not allowed to be, its a problem and the criminal actions should not be justified.

      Feminism doesn’t speak only for the rights of women since, in a white society, a black man is dominated by a white women. It speaks for the inter- sectionality of discriminations that exists in the realm of our so called civilised society. Every time someone imposes their ideologies on someone else, its a problem. There is a difference between sharing and slapping. Every time a crime is tried to being justified by gurus of social rule book or is ignored because someone else decided it’s not important enough relatively, Oh mahn! its a big problem.

      If I walk around naked, drunk, have rape me written all over my body, but If i say NO, its a no. No questions asked. No accusations made. (It’s a metaphor-before you start accusing- to those who are having problems understanding this article) Respect individuals as they are. What Salman did was his decision and what someone else will do will be theirs and there is no comparison how one wants to tackle the situation or how offended and to what level of offence one feels. Bringing other issues in neutralises the concern of the problem in question and that’s when people form mixed opinion and ignore it. What happened to Gauhar is a major problem interconnected to several social stigmas underlying, rotting the foundation of mere ‘living’ and should not be neglected or demeaned because one film star decided not to make his slap an issue.

      The other day Mona was in our union and here is a link, if anyone wants to watch her glorifying her feminist views.

      http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2014/02/do-arab-men-hate-women-201421282224596667.html

    3. ItsJustMe

      It is nice to know that you understand feminism better than most. But I hate to disagree with you about how it is practiced.Name one feminist movement in India, by its glorified feminists leaders, that in fact was wholly for protecting rights of men. Feminism is seen world wide as a movement for rights of women, then domination of males in the society. It is because that is what it has achieved despite of its definition and hugely unbiased views of its present leaders. Radical feminism is the feminism in practice, not the “real” feminism. In fact the real feminism is not real, it is a fantasy. So when you choose to be feminist and talk people into accepting it as a gender neutral outlook, know that you are being a hypocrite. At least that feeling might lead you into changing how it is practiced.

  5. Urni

    Dear Arunima, Abhishek, Akshita, Shayna, Fem — you’ll realise after a point that there isn’t any point in wasting your breath on Babar. I’ve convinced myself that this person isn’t real — oh, wait, that Babar isn’t a person in the first place. Humans by definition are different from animals because of their rationality and sense of reasoning. Our Babar here is probably therefore either completely overpowered by his animal spirits, or, alternatively, he is extra-human/ superhuman. What we can engage in henceforth is speculation: we can try and determine what Babar is. Trying to reason out things with a robot programmed to function in a particular way is foolhardy, is it not? 😀

  6. Vishesh Shrivastava

    Gauhar Khan Slapped On India’s Raw Star – Exclusive Video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khaO2QPxvzg

  7. ItsJustMe

    @Urni well written article, it baffles me how people just loose it when they loose an argument. The way I see it, its one man who had an ego problem and female hate, ended up slapping a well known woman on TV. Rape cannot be stopped by imposing medieval laws on woman. Unfortunately there are still muslim families in Kerala where this is a big issue. They are denied these rights based on laws of the holy Quran. I have seen verses first hand that dehumanizes women in Quran,. It is just so sad that no muslim school of thought has come forward to redact these verses (But then again if they were wise enough redact Verse of the sword, the world would have been a more peaceful place). Instead they over interpret everything and try to make it less radical, while some others interpret it radically and act on it. These people truly believes it will piss off Allah if women show her hair, or wear clothes that are short. That explains his hate and anger. There is a separate area in every mosque in India where women are supposed to pray, while men pray out in the main courtyard. This is gender segregation at its very best (worst)

  8. ItsJustMe

    Ladies, next time someone slaps you across the face, be it male or female. Give him or her one tight slap back. I will recommend practicing it on something. Every single day. On that point I would like to make honest and practical recommendations to avoid rape.
    – Carry pepper spray, stun gun etc
    – Learn self defense (its not about strength, its about knowing where to hit and when) Cooperate with local lady Police departments and organize self defense lessons. It has been quite successfully implemented in schools in USA
    – Be smart, learn to surprise the assailant, (act like you are unconscious then finish him off with one swing of whatever you can find)
    – Be confident, yes majority of men may be stronger than you, but you can be strong when your hormones get going ( Women’s energy during sex has surprised me to the point that I started to wonder is this the same girl)

    Why? Because feminism won’t save you at the time of rape, strength and smartness does. Most of the time victim will be alone with the assailant, with no one around to help. Also you want to prove to yourselves that in fact you are strong to defend yourself and do not need protection of men right?
    Social awareness wont stop a sociopath or psychopath from raping, but news of women beating the sh*t out of someone who attempted to rape her will definitely make him think twice.
    Because no amount of social movements, feminism, awareness camps will remove rapists from the society, like other criminals, rapists are the sad tragedy of every society. Not only India – USA, UK, South Africa, Australia have significantly high rape rate than India (2.0 per 100,000 people in India compare this to 24.1 per 100,000 in United Kingdom, 28.6 per 100,000 in United States, 66.5 per 100,000 in Sweden, and world’s highest rate of 114.9 rapes per 100,000 in South Africa, for the year 2012)
    Our men are not perpetual rapists, ours is not a rape culture. Kindly stop making it seem like one. Because that will keep more women inside at night, make them more insecure

  9. ajay

    Aqeel you are a real Indian Hero, These prostitute women are real threat to society, They malign the character of school boys and even children, They are the real cause of rapes, by watching them the criminals get excited and an innocent woman is raped, who never gets justice, Brother u r a true leader, I'm also planning to slap a prostitute, God bless u, take good care, and don't worry because history tells us that heroes like u r always condemned and beaten by the cruel society, These prostitutes do not represent India or Innocent Indian women, they represent sex-tainment. Great job man love u. Some prostitutes with worst moral character along with their rapist and broker brothers and sons are defending her and abusing u but don't u worry, a good tym is coming boy, a good tym is coming. Thanks a lot from all common Indians. Love u.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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