Not all rapes need to be reported, punished or publicised, speak men and women of the political kind. They are almost familial that way when they try to hush it up back in our backyards.
Gone are the days when one had to mention about their assault to the world to gain an authority to speak against sexual crimes. Today, thanks to extensive surveys and campaigns like #MeToo, we all know that almost all of us today have been assaulted or subjected to gender-based violence at least once in our lives.
Crimes arising from passion, power play, perversion, political vendetta, climate and conflicts are primary drivers of such violence since the beginning of time. That’s also one thing indisputably nobody can challenge our saffron pundits with either. Across borders and nations, the violence surges and we live in the extremely fragile post-capitalist time where inequalities are fueling our insecurities and innocence is caught in cross-fires.
In light of another national outrage at the Kathua and Unnao incident, I found this inspiring call for National Strike:
Calling All Sisters: Women, Girls, Trans and Non-Binary Folks to Strike Work on 10th May 2018!
Sisters we protested when Nirbhaya was brutally raped and murdered. We had hoped that post those protests no girl child or woman would have to live in fear. Our hopes since then have been dashed again and yet again. Even as we rage and grieve for the 8-year-old in Kathua and the rape survivor in Unnao, its time that we as women come together collectively for justice for all our sisters who have suffered or are suffering sexual violence – whether in situations of communal violence, caste violence, family and community-based violence, workplace violence, conflict areas, violence in public spaces. We cannot afford to be selective in our outrage because misogyny affects us all, curtails our right to life, liberty, safety, equality and dignity.
Let us go on a strike for one day on the 10th of May 2018 to coincide with the date of the Kathua victim’s kidnapping on the 10th of January. Let this be a strike across sectors, at home and outside, across states and divides of religion, class and caste. Let us, the woman of India. bring this country to a halt in protest against the sexual violence that we face daily for being women and the culture of impunity that comes in the way of justice being done. Come and join us in taking the pledge to make the strike a success.
Sisters Unite! Sisters Strike!
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Strike As An Act Of Love And Responsibility
All our ‘liberally’ educated lives, we were taught to see strikes as a Left-led lazy and disruptive propaganda to halt development and progress. Coming of age, I realise that among all the lies I grew out of, this one is the most recent and most powerful. Throughout it’s becoming a truth universally acknowledged that “well-behaved women (and non-men) seldom made history”. As we go down this painful path of demanding the right to live, dignified and safe, it is time that the women – just them; the feminists, queers, non-feminists, matriarchal, married, single and all other sorts – set aside the subtle differences in practices and politics to show solidarity against this relentless patriarchal parade of false solutions to our grievances. Against capital punishments, honour killings and all such synonyms of patriarchal association of sexual abuse and rapes as a violation of honour but not recognition of our human rights being violated.
Imagine a nation of 1.3 billion, where almost half of us are females and non-males (almost since others are missing for many reasons), some of us dreamers and doers come together to strike for our rights. We organise and agitate, become a vote bank force to be reckoned with! Will our needs and requirements still be neglected? No matter who we are and what we believe in, to have the basic inclusive spaces where we are not always on a high-alert fearing for our safety is a decent demand to ask. Instead of pointing fingers at acceptable definitions of womanhood and feminism why not focus on the fundamentals of life and living? Can we recognise that as grown-ups we have the privilege to go out and be heard, while many young souls are smothered and buried in the backyards that we had once trodden? That we have the responsibility to step up for their futures?
We will chant during our gatherings. This May 10, as women united, we shall never be defeated.