On 30 July, 2021, Friday, a dental student named Manasa (24) was shot dead by her ex-boyfriend Rakhil at Ernakulam district of Kerala. It is not the first murder of such kind and it is not going to be the last.
While people are making jokes or memes regarding the issue like the evolving modus operandi of murdering ex-girlfriends, from acid attacks to bullet shots and some others are surprised as to from where did the guy obtain the gun.
Another set of people busy slut shaming the victim for dumping him. However, everyone is effortlessly forgetting and trying to hide the root cause of these kind of murders – the toxic relationships we are promoting as a society.
It’s not the first incident in Kerala, where the consequences of rejecting, breaking-up, complaining against physical abuse in a marriage is the death of women. Partners, husbands or even strangers murdering women for the same has became a trend. It will continue to go on until we decide to work on the roots rather than on the surface.
We are people who proud to be Keralites. However, in terms of relationships, we lack proper orientation and sex education at the school level. In a room full of adults, if someone mentions ‘sex’ or ‘sex education’ it will lead to a lot of puzzled looks and suppressed giggles. It is because we still think it is something inappropriate that should not be discussed in public.
Back in high school, one of my friends fell in love with a boy who happened to be her classmate. The girl was criticized and slut shamed by her teachers for this innocuous act while the boy roamed around without any consequences.
It’s evident how our society as a whole is bigoted in terms of treating men and women. From school itself, we teach children lessons of how not to get victim-shamed. To our girls, we say, “Everything that happens to you is your fault.”
We have raised a generation of women who are blamed for something they never did. We have trained a generation of women to feel guilty of something they never did wrong in the first place.
Despite these, as a society, we think we are better than any other states but still hold on to the concepts of sex, love and love marriages as taboo.
We are a society who think of ourselves as an elite class where we still slut shame, victim-blame and spit misogyny at every single woman who dares to take decisions over her life, get a divorce, or end a toxic relationship and live her life on her own terms.
Apparently, we are a society where women are considered to be equal but this supposed equality and freedom of women are is derived from the men in their life.
Let’s consider the practical solution to break the deep rooted misogyny.
Art and artists has always been a driving force to bring social change in a society. Through different art forms and writings we can achieve change but with mainstream mediums like cinema, we can assure drastic changes. Films can influence the perspective through which people see things.
Sex education and relationship education from a very young age can make a large impact on how children behave as adults. Preparing the appropriate curriculum and implementing it effectively will do their part. Also, one or more professionally certified and trained child therapists and psychologists in ever schools is a crucial step in child welfare and development.
Teaching about feminism, equality, LGBTQIA+ community and their historical significance will help children to change the outlook in which they see people and in an unbiased manner.
Finally, every change should begin with ourselves; let’s break all the rules put by society to live a life in misery. Let’s love ourselves a little more, enough to end a relationship which is abusive whether it’s emotional, mental, physical.
Let’s support each other to build a society worth living .