As a girl I’m advised not to go out late nights, to wear ‘appropriate clothes’, to arm myself with chili powder and pepper sprays, to be extra vigilant about who is walking behind me and on and on and on.
I ask—“But why me?”
When mothers can advise this to their daughter, why can’t they advise their sons about respecting a woman and her modesty, about treating them as equals and not as sex objects.
When you lecture this to your daughters, you are actually making them weak, making them feel guilty of who they are, creating fear in them and snatching away their basic right to live freely, the right to safety and the right of belongingness.
This country belongs to women as much as it belongs to men. Its roads, trains, cabs, nightlife, beaches, hotels, restaurants, movie theatres --- everything equally belongs to them. We do not need to fear to use any of them, at any time of the day or night or with anyone.
Whenever I come home late from office or outside, all my mother worried about was my health. But one brutal rape shakes the entire country and boom ---- all mothers are worried about their daughter’s safety.
Suddenly counseling begins, advises flow from every person you know, defense techniques like martial arts are encouraged to be mastered --- all this for a ‘just-in-case’ situation.
I don’t wish to learn survival techniques. I don’t wish to live in a society in survival and fear. I refuse to accept a gender biased crisis.
I am this country’s daughter and I have every right to live freely as every other citizen. I will not fear and succumb to maniacs.
If anything has to change, then it should be the society and the mindset of people living in this society. If you blame your actions for women and their ‘inappropriate clothes’, then what explanation do you have for raping a 3 year old kid?
Men, you need to change your attitude and accept women for the way they are. Hold yourself liable for actions you take on account of your own filth.
Change now, for your own mothers, sisters and daughters, for we are not feared of you and we shall never be.