Thursday, September 19, 2013

It's the girls fault!

               "Women are like precious gold. If you expose them, they will be looted" 

Like many women who read this line from a politician in the morning newspaper, I was bewildered. How dare they blame the woman for the unmanly, savage gang rape? Further they say that woman should be accompanied by a male while travelling at night. Right! That's exactly what Nirbhaya was doing. But that was her "friend" who was with her and that automatically raised further questions as to what "she was doing" with a man rather than what those barbarians did to her. That was Delhi and Delhi is not safe for girls. Girls should shut themselves up in their homes after 5 pm when in Delhi. When a photo-journalist accompanied by her colleague was gang raped in the "safe" city of Mumbai in early evening hour, they still blame the woman!


More than the insensitive people issuing such statements, I was furious at the newspapers which print it on the first page.
                I discussed this later with my father and I was taken aback when he supported the statement. The next thing I heard was Mom backing it up. How could they, the educated and free minded parents, think like that? IT.ISNT.THE.GIRL'S FAULT. Rape is completely the fault of the man. I argued that no one has the right to rape a girl no matter what hour she is out, no matter with whom she is, no matter what she is wearing.                 It was when they said," It is not the girl's fault that she got raped, it is the girl's fault that she knows she lives in such times and behaves recklessly". I sat back to think on it.

              Lets just forget rape for a moment. Take up theft for that matter. Let's say you have gold. Glittery and very expensive gold jewels which you love to wear. It is your right to wear what you want to wear and so you wear it. You go to high end hotels and parties and wedding. You walk back home all alone, do you feel safe? Do you go flaunting that gold as freely as you would in a protected environment? No, right? Why may I ask? The reason is simple. You know that you would be a soft target for thieves. There in you use your common sense and act cautious.
             Let's not compare theft and rape. Just look at the fundamental act. Act of crime. Rape is much grave and cruel I agree. Is our caution the same? Do we take adequate care to keep ourselves safe? The answer sadly and shockingly, is NO. 

            While it is a very valid fight that we are fighting against gender discrimination and freedom for women, can anyone of those crusaders stand up and assure that holding banners that say "Do not tell your daughter how to dress, teach your son not to rape" will help the case? Will it avert the lecherous eyes or be a downer for those devils? There is a thin line between boldness and foolishness. Teach your daughters to be cautious while the sons are being taught "not to rape". Overnight no amount of movements will make it safe for girls to grow up unmolested forget about wearing  hotpants and travel. It is a gradual process if it has to happen!
          I remember a recent wedding I attended. There was a young girl clad in a saree that was draped in a way that it went across only half her chest. She wore a low cut blouse that exposed all of her back and a good part of one breast. She must be younger than 20. She stood right in front of the stage facing the people sitting in the hall and enjoyed the attention that she was getting. She was talking to her relatives, many of whom were staring at her bosom. Men as old as 60s were all about her, talking to her and yet not taking their eyes off her chest. She behaved unaware of it all!
        On railway platforms, college girls wearing hot pants and racer backs face the same situation and are delusional about the wicked intentions of the men!
        Do not tempt them ladies. A decent man wouldn't rape even if you went naked. A rapist will rape you even if you are veiled. It is the intermediates that you must not provoke!


        After all there is some truth in the wisdom of the elders. Women are precious gold. We must protect ourselves because unlike thieves, rapists don't necessarily need to see the glitter.
        Accept it or not. It is lurking very close. You can escape it though!
       Dress appropriately. It is being hammered time and again and not without merit. Keep those shorts and sexy tops for the beaches and other occasions and not for the train to catch !
      Never let your kid out of sight. Gone are the days when you could keep your toddler  with relatives and take a shopping break. Never entrust a male member, no matter how close, to look after the kid in your absence. Leave them with your parents or carry them along.

      Tell them what is a bad touch and encourage them to talk about it. Yes, you have to tell them even if they are just 2 year old. No one touches your baby and gets away with it!

      Do not open the door to a stranger. When you are alone do not let anyone in. Talk to them at the door through the safety door (ensure you have one) and politely tell them to come later. If you must let them in then stand right at the entrance with the door wide open. It would be easier to run :P
     Sometimes it is unavoidable to let them in and not  accompany them ( for eg the man from gas company). Call out to your neighbor (always be on friendly terms!! ) or act as if on phone call and shout out the details of the person with you. "Arre wo gas wala aya hai ghar pe.." kind of conversation.

      Travelling I guess you all know this one by now. When taking an auto or cab, always sit right behind the driver. It is difficult for them to grab you. Make sure someone knows which cab or auto you are in. Say it loud so that even the driver knows!

      Avoid secluded spots Privacy be damned! You have all the time in this world for that but do not enter secluded areas as they are prime spots for rapists to lurk around. Even the guards at such places sometimes blackmail and rape the girl. Obviously it never gets reported most of the times!

     Trust your guts Believe me, a girl always has a weird feeling about certain places or people. Avoid them. Once you go somewhere and alarm bells start ringing then no matter what others say, do no return to that place.
    If you are attacked put your hands together with all your force (as if a loud clap) on his ears. It will set him off balance and give you time to run!
              I think we have reached a point where we are past talking about rapes. IT is always the same. A gang rape happens and  newspapers report it day in and out. New channels flash it as breaking news. A few politicians issue statements. Social media puts up posts and tweets. We sign online petitions. Rarest of the rare case sometimes gets punishment and then goes up the higher courts. We are all back to our lives. With careless abandon.


Anita Jeyan Sandeep said...

I simply loved this ..!!! This should go out to every girl out there old enough to read. And this line takes the cake "Do not tempt them ladies. A decent man wouldn't rape even if you went naked. A rapist will rape you even if you are veiled. It is the intermediates that you must not provoke!"
The feminists will not agree with you, but all the women out there should take care of themselves.To a certain extent it is avoidable. But there are instances when grandparents and even stepfathers and own father becomes the rapist. In such cases, there are cases where girls file cases and stand up against it. And others, when girls are forced to spread their legs in their own homes.

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

What is this life full of care, we have no time, to stand and stare!


Blasphemous Aesthete

Wings of Harmony said...

I agree with you. And yes, at the end of the day, it unfortunately boils down to us, no?

Commendable post, Maiths!

Mirage said...

Excellent article Maithili

I too have seen girls wearing skimpy clothes in areas where they absolutely should not and on top of that, they turn their backs to the consequential drooling of men around. How could anyone be so careless? When you know that we do not live in a broad-minded and ultra modern country.

This post reminds me of the recently famous satirical video of Kalki Koechlin and Juhi Pandey on the same issue. Do you watch it if you haven't yet.

Keirthana said...

A very enlightening to girls. This is the common sense of today's era. As you said, no amount of movements and trials is gonna change the condition overnight. We live in such times and we would do better to acknowledge it.

Red Handed said...

Excellent post Maith!!

maithili said...

That is the sad truth. Domestic rapes are something that cannot fall under this because the act in itself is something so perverse and unimaginable for people like us and yet the nightmare of many girls.. There is something so rotten with the mentality of people that it disgusts me to even think of it..

maithili said...

I wish it were another time
I wish it was another day
where it we had no care
and all the time to stop and stare :(

maithili said...

Always.. :(

maithili said...

We all drool over male models but if a man walks around half naked we too take offence. Why is it that we are supposed to be blind eyed over what girls wear? Why this lack of basic sense is taken as "freedom" and advising about it is called "narrow minded'? We are no one to judge but when in school we wear a uniform, when in office we wear formals and the same logic applies other places too..

maithili said...

Better to acknowledge and be careful :)

maithili said...

Thank you Red :D