Gender-based violence and violence against women has, no doubt, increased during the pandemic. But why are we surprised? Is it something that we never heard of? The violence and the cases that have increased, and the increasing complaints as compared to previous years, just shows the latent toxic mentality in our society. The pandemic has only revealed how bad situations can get for women.
Who likes to be treated as a sex object, who likes that his/her every action is sexualized and admired? Every decision and every part of their body, mind, and behaviour is fantasized! Woman are also human beings. That people can see them beyond their bodies looks like something impossible at present. But men can change this society, and they have the magic wand to do that.
As a society, we have discussed enough how women face violence and gender disparities, and now we require solutions. Men, women, and the LGBTQ+ community are the part of this society, and to solve such problems we need each one of us to take an active part in fighting toxic mentalities and evil menaces.
Men can play a big role in fighting violence against women, and why should one hesitate to expect such roles from them? Men are also a part of the society and all of us have to co-exist, so we cannot just ghost one important part of the society.
The pandemic has made women vulnerable to physical, mental, emotional, and economic violence, and we have talked about it a lot. It might seem cliché but if we become empathetic to every woman who faces the violence then one can imagine her pain and then this will not just be a mere article for you!
Every day during the pandemic we’ve come across barbaric reports of rape, of sexual violence at home, and sexual violence outside the home, about abusive in-laws, violent partners, emotionally distressing familial ties and work ties.
We have had enough and now we need action, and if there is no action we need to demand it!
Men as a part of this society can play a huge role in ending violence against women. Yes, it might seem like a utopian ideology but what else are we left with now? The stakeholders are doing their work, the government is doing its best, NGOs are putting in day and night shifts, and the online media organizations are working hard to change society. Still, every morning we get up we see news of a baby girl buried, a woman assaulted, threatened, murdered, and whatnot. We can’s deny the fact that men are good human beings, and as far as toxic mentalities are concerned we can change them.
Imagine if men started correcting other men when they talk about women in a derogatory way? Things will certainly change.
The most important ideology that needs to change is that woman are the ‘weaker sex’. The men who think like this should throw out this patriarchal notion. I feel that this mentality is the basic premise of why a woman gets assaulted. A more conducive environment should be built for a woman in male-dominated industries. Equal pay should be strictly followed as it can help in empowering woman. The mentality that woman is ‘weak’ and just a ‘sex object’ is so deeply entrenched that one would be surprised and should feel sorry for the society!
The most important thing to change when it comes to the treatment of women is to stop listening to “Log kya Kahenge” (what will people say). When a man stops himself from becoming a part of patriarchy, he is called ‘weak’ and his sexuality is questioned. The man is not sick but a society that calls him weak is surely sick.
Gender roles that are attached to the personality of a woman, like being beautiful, fair, thin, soft-spoken, and polite and suppressed should be changed. Believe me, even these characteristics are fantasised about and then sexualized. A human being cannot be perfect. Our society expects a woman to cook food for the family, stay silent in the face of inequality, have every decision taken by the family and accept her life without questioning it!
I feel that pornography and uncensored web series contribute to the menace as well. Men need to realise that it is not reality. Thus, they start thinking that woman like to be laid down forcefully. Obviously, not all are affected and view it as just entertainment but some start enacting those toxic behaviours.
Men can help in calling out sexism, and they need to understand that there is a world for a woman beyond her body. She is dynamic and if you support her and understand her there is a different world waiting for you. When a girl is harassed in the streets men should call it out then and there. When a girl or woman is bullied online for posting her photos, men should call out those perverts. When a girl in school is being harassed, boys should stand up for her.
When a woman is being beaten up in her home her brother should call it out. When a girl is in a relationship with someone she should not be termed as a slut, and when a woman chooses to divorce her partner, her decision to break out of a toxic relation should not be judged. When a little girl is born, let’s not attribute the colour pink to her character. Rather than creating a sustainable environment, what our society is doing is restricting women, restricting their dreams, aspirations, decisions, and policing their behaviour.
The society is foolish if it thinks that restricting women is the solution. Their safety does not come from restrictions. Rather, we are helping the toxic men in creating a barbaric and scary environment which is male-dominated. Stopping a girl from going to college, stopping a little girl from wearing a dress she wants to, preventing a woman from going out late at night and sheltering your daughter at every step is not helping in any way. By restricting women and controlling their behaviour, their existence, and their sexuality we are creating a more sexist, patriarchal, unsustainable, and toxic environment.
Fathers need to understand that every boy your daughter talks to is not her boyfriend, every time she goes out and comes late does not mean she is a slut, and marriage should not be forced on her.
Are you scared you will be made fun of by society for calling out violence against women, get up and stop thinking this way? No one cares what you think, people ultimately do what they want to, so why should you stop helping to create a sustainable environment for women?
Beating women when she goes out for work, beating and fighting with her when she does not serve you food on time, and beating her for talking to any guy in her office or as a friend is not the solution.
Humans need to understand the meaning of the word ‘choice’ and ‘freedom’. There is a thing known as life and each one of us have different expectations from it. People can always choose how they should live, what they should do, what they want from life and how they will function.
From every aspect and role, to every profession, women are sexualized, and believe me, it will affect your mind. You will certainly start thinking that way. Don’t become a victim to patriarchy and perverted minds.
It might be cliché but true, when a woman wears short clothes she is not asking for sex, when a woman is with a guy he is not always his boyfriend. Believe me, men and women can be good friends and can have good professional and friendly relations too.
Till when will this society tell a woman how she should live? At some point, there will be a big revolution and I feel it has started already. The time had finally come when we need to dictate these basic tenets to men and expect this from them as well. Is it too much to ask for?