There has been no decade recorded in the history of the world where sexualisation of women has become a bigger and better topic to debate and discuss on. Perhaps, my write up is also just going to add to the razzmatazz of a plethora of already written and discussed verbatims on objectifying women as sexually gratifying ‘things’ for certain lechers in the society. Upon scrutiny, I decided that in my last sentence, I wanted to have a say on two things: a) about how low we have demoted ourselves from admiring a woman’s true beauty through poetry and prose such as in the 19th and early 20th century as opposed to how we view a woman today only for her breasts and thighs and posterior and b) about our tendency, because of some nincompoops who compartmentalize a woman only for the way she looks, to look at all men with the same eye of a potential molester or at the worst rapist.
Being an Indian, I thought sexual crimes were at their peak in India. Of course, it is in its best form in India due to the nonchalant punishment given for it here. Rapists, eve teasers and pedophiles sometimes go so scott free in our country, that one tends to feel that these are all either a very natural thing to happen when one lives one’s life as a woman or that it is just regarded as another form of a petty crime like say, pickpocketing. Close home print media, visual media and social media are rampant with the latest #DeepikaPadukoneCleavage controversy. There are supporters and naysayers expressing their own respective opinions about the way she and India’s premier newspaper have dealt with the issue. And then there is Emma Watson, who gave a heartfelt brilliant speech on gender equalization at the UN, promptly after which her nude photos got leaked by some hackers the day after she spoke for “He for She” campaign, just with the intention to show her, her ‘place’ in the world.
Coming into my own real world, I have heard a couple of guy friends always asking if I knew of some ‘hot’ girls in my college. And that sadly continued into my workplace as well. And then of course, there are some really intelligent men out there, who post on social media their almost daily opinions as to how a woman should treat her man, whether she should be employed for looking her age, or whether she should drive on the roads or not and whether she has any say in the clothes she CHOOSES to wear. I don’t see such deeply felt and hurt statements made on Facebook by these friends when a 6 year old girl gets raped in her school. Surprisingly and the worst of all, I have encountered even women in my life who sit and have a great chat with such men, and make jokes on the figure of an unsuspecting fellow female colleague. If it is still not believeable, I myself had a senior female colleague, who would comment on our ‘weight issues’ and our ‘assets’ in front of our male colleagues, desperate enough to get the male-attention. Now I know, why my mother used to hail a woman as another woman’s nemesis!
Guys/men/girls/ladies. ATTENTION! And this attention I specifically mean for those who know they have done either of these things, at least once in their life, in the aforementioned paragraph. We are not your sandwichmakers. Neither are we your personal eye candies online. And by we, I mean women whether or not working in a glamor or service industry. Nor are we or our bodies baits for your further upliftment in a pervert’s mind. Respect us, for sooner or not, your daughter can face the same torment. And fellow women, do not be under the impression that you are perfectly safe, because the moment you leave the company of such men, you are the sl*t they are going to discuss about. So there goes your high end aim down the drains!
And for those of us good souls, who choose to remain silent over this issue, remember, that it is your silence that kills us more than the violence inflicted by a psychotic mind. Stand up and be there for us. Men, we have always looked upto you for kindness and women, we have always looked into each other for companionship. Right from the days of Draupadi, it is a woman’s chastity that men have staked upon. And it required a God to save her. We don’t want you to be God, but you can put a curb to this by just respecting our need to feel equal with you, besides our needs to be fed and clothed.
In another ten days, our nation will be celebrating Dussehra and Durga Pujo with aplomb. Its often a confusing country, our India, where we worship women as Devi, the creator and the destroyer, and at the same time give her no right to speak for herself whatsoever. Women should not discuss politics with men, women should not have a say in her husband’s home, women should not wear anything besides a sari and salwar, good girls should not go out unnecessarily, women should quietly abide to anything and everything an elderly subjects upon her, having her will subjected to anonymity.
When a girl is born, we beautify her to make her look like a princess, train her in singing in dancing so that she gets appreciation from audience until of a marriageable age and thereafter from her prospective groom and his family. We never think of equipping our daughters with self defense techniques to ward off society’s evils attacking upon her. Nor do we teach her how to politely put uncouth people back into their places when she has to hear unwardly comments about her from their venom spewing mouths. For those men, who declare that if a woman does not want to invite rape unto her she should dress decently, what do you have to say when a 4 year old child is being subjected to the same horror? Was she inviting it upon herself and how? When a woman performs a better surgery than a man with a better outcome in her patient, some old hags sitting in the chairs with titles of Professors, choose to chide her and promote a fellow incompetent male as a better doctor than her. Does this have to do with the fact that we are a tad more emotional than our male counterparts? Men always say women are emotional fools and that is why we land in trouble. Don’t the same men turn to a woman’s shoulders to cry upon when distraught. I mean, would they love a cold hearted, mean, calculative, in their words, selfish bi**ch?
Wherever we are, whichever profession we choose to lead, whatever lifestyle and personal ethics we follow, if we fail to recognize what our partner, professional or personal, is going through, we cannot be happy. And since I am especially highlighting the cause of women here, I would like to reinstate an oft repeated quote, that only we, like you men, have the rights to decide what we need to do with our body, our words and our actions. We don’t want your opinion on it. No. We don’t even want your man-logic solution. We know how to fix ourselves up. We just need you to stop moral policing us and rather improve your own morales. We have never said that we are not ready to face the repercussions of our deeds. If we choose to carry ourselves in a certain way, it is because we feel good doing so. And please remember the adage, “Gentlemen, don’t kiss and tell.”
As for the women haters amongst women, you are easily recognizable, because you people claim to be feminists and your idea of that is male-bashing. And in that quest, you are on the road to becoming dictator men yourselves, what with you imposing stringent rules as to how a girl should behave. Reflect upon yourself. And for you I repeat a favourite quote of mine told by Madeleine Albright, “There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women."
To wind up, I know or I am almost certain that, not all 516 friends of mine are going to read this on Facebook. But whoever does spare their precious time to read this long attempt of mine, to emphasise on treating a girl child, a girl and a woman with the respect that they truly deserve, kindly instead of commenting on this further, choose to inculcate some decency in you, wherein which you could give a kick start to a virtuous cycle of kindness and compassion to those around you, especially women, for a better tomorrow for our unborn daughters.