‘We should save our boys, not the girls. Because if we save our boys then our girls will be safe’ is what went on to become one of the most powerful dialogues of 2016 and undoubtedly it was. All these years that we have been protesting against the misogyny, gender inequality & women rights, we seem to have forgotten that humanism lies above feminism. The motive of forcing men to treat women equally is more of making them accepting them as humans. But the question still remains, on whom does the onus lie on? Do we keep blaming half of the human race for everything that goes wrong with the other half?
I was in class 3 when my elder sister started menstruating leaving me with almost six years to understand what was happening until my biology teacher threw some light. From stomach ache to a headache, I was given all the reasons for why she could skip school and I still had to go. The packet of ‘Whisper’ could never be found on the monthly ration list which I would crosscheck. With time, I got accustomed to a different health issue every month for the next six years while it was all bound to happen naturally. My mom and sister had these conversations as she grew older, where I had to rely on another class of biology to believe whatever was told to me as doubts were supposed to remain. But luckily, I had the privilege of listening while many of the boys of my age were working in the factories and houses.
We are a part of an education system, where the cell membrane and the diagram of the heart were taught for a month and the entire course on reproduction lasted for less than a week. We are taught on how to spell consent and not realise it. A society where we are expected to take care of our sisters and wives without knowing the natural phenomenon for the pain they are going through. Where a discussion on sex is ‘being uncultured’ while a child being born is auspicious. We are expected to understand and not know, we are expected to feel but not say.
16th December’12 gave rise to the era of feminism in our country. It has been more than four years from Delhi to Mumbai and now Bangalore, all being followed by newspaper articles, social media posts and glamorous debates but no result. We want more cameras to capture the incidents but do not want to capture the thought. We want more soldiers in buses and trains to save our people from our people. We want sign boards to say ‘I will go out’ and not ‘I am going out’. A temporary gender equality while moving towards a permanent human divide.
It is time we stop screaming patriarchy and do something. It is time we stop listening to what politicians and actors have to say on these incidents. It is time we stop calling up our daughters and tell them to reach home early. It is time we stop telling our daughters what not to wear in public and tell our sons what not to do in private. It is time we talk to our boys about our girls.