Every day I come across articles, that make me wonder if at all there is any humanity left in the world. I feel angry, sad, mostly because of how people react to any crimes related to women, that are exponentially increasing day after day. I still remember, in 2009- a group of women were beaten, groped and molested by political groups in Mangalore, in a popular club because they having a good time.
I can never forget the 2012 Delhi Gang rape. It affected me emotionally and I overheard an ignorant classmate saying that her father thinks she “deserved” it because “what was she doing out so late?”
Moral policing is a tactic used to oppress women, berate them and place them in a sub-human category.
I think it is also a deep rooted ideology instilled in us, a patriarchal society, wherein the women are always at fault, no matter what. Women are shamed endlessly, shunned and go through endless humiliation. The perpetrator is often granted bail and goes scot-free. The recent case of mass molestation in Bengaluru, did not take me by surprise because these incidents are now daily occurrences (how sad is that?). To top it all, the government officials and authorities are unwilling to improve the situation and will just throw around outrageous statements such as “ants will go towards the sugar”, or something along the lines of – “Western clothes and ideals have spoiled our culture, thus leading to an increase in the cases of rape, molestation”.
The worst part is that it just does not stop. A never-ending cycle of blaming and shaming the victim and instilling the very idea that “Men will be men” and that women and girls should be more careful and be chaste, pure and pious.
Luckily, I belong to a family with liberal values and beliefs, but still, before leaving the house, my mother asks me to change my pair of shorts. Not because she thinks it looks indecent, but because she is afraid that I might get molested. In the heat of Delhi summers, can you imagine wearing denims and covering yourself up? Because of fear – the fear of getting eve-teased, the fear that empowers the vile pigs who leer and sneer every time they see a woman – whether she is burkha-clad or wearing shorts. It does not matter, because women are viewed as pieces of meat, creatures made to satisfy their sexual needs or many men just want to teach us a “lesson”, for being too “modern”.
I am a student in Delhi and I feel unsafe in my city, there is this lingering fear that something might just happen to me, even in broad daylight.
I’ve been eve-teased on numerous occasions, been groped, and cat-called and suffered child abuse in silence, but not anymore. I retaliate but I’m tired, I do not want to worry about returning late or travelling in the metro and feel uneasy. I want to breathe easy when I’m out with my friends and not live in the constant fear of molestation.
Every woman is fighting a battle against the world, each day, every day. We need to work at the grass root levels, which will take a long time. We need vigilant citizens and government support to overcome these hurdles and stringent laws. Most importantly, we need to change mindsets.