My heart is heavy, hence I write.
“There are far too many silent sufferers. Not because they don’t yearn to reach out, but because they’ve tried and found no one who cares.”
Richelle E. Goodrich
As the conundrum of this nationwide lockdown reaches its 46th day, I have sat down to give words to one of the most intimate topics to me, but yet something that I rarely write about. My inability to pen down all the chaos that engulfs my mind is due to the numbness after I ponder upon abuse in general, of any form, and in realization is the pain that we have failed to do anything about it and might never be able to—owing to the course of events that have been taking place across the globe off-late.
Understanding how can we be victims of such oppression for so long, runs a chill down my spine and registers in me a sense of hopelessness that might take a long while to go. This article is all about hopelessness. So, very recently, all my fears of abuse came afloat when the Bois locker room chat went viral, I was appalled by the audacity of these educated teens.
Hence, I started to retrospect what leads to such kind of words/actions or for that matter, the thought of inflicting pain on others. One thing that we have been easily passing off is that these are troubled minds or their upbringing or level of education is not adequate to have a check on their actions.
After this episode blew up, we were forced to delve deeper into how we are normalizing such conversations, but this is, unfortunately, not just one instance, there are thousands of people who, both virtually and physically, follow the lineages of patriarchy, entitlement and the luxury of being the dominant gender.
The long-lived myth of lack of rationality in uneducated individuals leading them to become uncultured and disillusioned in life was also busted when the so-called liberals of Twitter, working over wifis breaks, opened a series of slanderous remarks on a Jamia Milia Islamia University scholar and activist Safoora Zargar, more than three months pregnant and currently lodged in New Delhi’s Central Tihar jail.
Post-Amnesty International’s call to free the young activist out of jail, scores of people on Twitter let loose the filth inside their brains into trolls for the activist, speaking utterly out of context and questioning her character, allegedly asking her if she was married and advising her to use a condom.
With each passing day as uncertainty, worthlessness, and indecisiveness rises, so do the stress and anxiety levels amongst the masses, and the ones who bear the brunt of these ‘outbursts’ is, unfortunately, women.
The gender that is overworked and underpaid and is expected to be more perfect or sorted, by default adjusting to exploitation; the one whose fundamental job is to look after everything from managing online work to children to attending the elderly and of course their dominant counterparts.
They are the ones who are subjected to the most severe form of trauma if anything goes haywire.
Hence, as gloominess looms over our minds and people are locked inside, devoid of work, this atmosphere gives rise to stress which was easier to vent earlier with a leisure stroll outside or by playing/travelling outdoors, but now, as several confused and anxious minds reside inside four walls, quarrels and indifferences create cleavages that give rise to abuse.
But several reports from across the world reveal that this problem is not indigenous to India, many countries are witnessing a surge in domestic violence cases such as Russia, Europe, the US, and some Asian countries too. But the problem does not arise out of the pandemic, it may become double or magnify during this period, but to gauge the real cause of such suppression is a long trudged past of adjusting to social constructs that are perpetuated even today.
No matter how much we think we have resolved our problems with the advent of technology and modernisation, we haven’t been able to address this issue ever. While people are calling out misogynistic tendencies and shaming this culture, there is an ardent need to focus on transforming the way we teach our children.
We might see several lockdowns time and again, but that should never be an excuse for anyone to take the liberty of being in a position to exploit others, just because they have access to better resources, autonomy or privilege in the society. There is an urgent need to restructure minds and the constructs that have dominated, or else we’ll just be a bunch of distorted minds with robotic bodies running the wheel of life.