What is Wrong With Us

Women

A few days back, I was talking to a friend of mine. She was in quest of a place to stay, near her office.

She: My friends and I are looking for a house around this area. Would you help us in finding one ?

Me: What are you looking for, 2BHK or 3BHK ?

She: No, I am actually looking for PGs.

Me: Rented houses would be more comfortable than PGs. Why do you go for a PG ?

She: No, parents wouldn’t feel safe putting us in independent houses.

Why does an independent woman in an independent country feel unsafe to make a living.

Whats wrong with us ?

A few excerpts from the official statements made by socially accepted individuals.

“The female is a female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities; we should regard the female nature as afflicted with a natural defectiveness.”

“When a woman has scholarly inclinations there is usually something wrong with her sexual organs.”

“Direct thought is not an attribute of femininity. In this, woman is now centuries … behind men.”

“If rape is inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.”

“The poor fellows, three of them have been sentenced to death. Should rape cases lead to hanging? Boys are boys, they make mistakes. Two or three have been given the death sentence in Mumbai. We will try and change such laws…we will also ensure punishment of those who report false cases.”

“Hindu women should have between four and ten children”

“Just because India achieved freedom at midnight does not mean that women can venture out after dark. They should ensure that they do not board buses with few passengers. The woman should have thought twice before boarding the suspicious private bus that night. Though the incident was condemn-able, she should also have behaved keeping in mind the situation. Although it [Delhi gang-rape] was a minor incident, Soniaji made it a point to meet the protesters when they called on her.”

“Pakistan’s powerful Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has passed a draft proposal for a bill which recommends that “husbands must be allowed to lightly beat their wives” in case the later behaves erratically.”

Ain’t equality a birthright of every individual ?

What’s wrong with us ?

From the advent of civilization, we have collectively taken a hypocritical stand in one aspect, which is prejudice against a sexually dimorphic human species. Our rivers are named after women, our Vedas insist the parents to gift their daughters the intellect and the power of knowledge before she gets married, our customary practices reiterate women to light the lamps for Agni to symbolize the absence of darkness and grief, and the very same custom was cool with pushing a widowed woman into the same Agni.

The same hypocrisy still exists in our everyday life.

Those “Don’t cry like a girl.” provokes from the elders, those “ Are you a girl ? Won’t you come outside and play with us” taunts from your seniors, those ” Girls will marry and go, you should work hard to get settled” free advice from the entire world.

Those “She has a good hand writing and ability to mug up” lame excuses we tell our parents when the girl next door scores better than us.

If a Woman voices her opinion call her a “Slut” , If a woman is successful call her a “Witch“, If husband fails in his business, call his wife “Unlucky“, above all if a girl refuses to accept your proposal, “Strew acid at her” or lest “Kill not just her but also her character“.

Ain’t Gender difference a matter of chromosome ?

What’s wrong with us ?

In a society where still a girl’s dress speaks about her character, the caste flashes first in the headlines instead of the fact that a girl was raped, the concept of Consensual Sex is worth unmentioned.

Equality shouldn’t stop with drafting just a bill. It should be in the very essence of society, right from “building toilets in motels where men find open ground to pee and women are left with just two choices; One is to go in search of darker places or lest control the advances of kidney” to “treating a woman with good will not because she is a woman but an individual”.

Respect a woman not because you have a mother or a sister. Respect her for the person she portrays.

Misogyny is no less shittier than racism.

Mother (Women) India

women

Disclaimer: Not for or against to whomsoever it may concern.

“Thaaye un peyar sollumbodhe idhayathil mellisai paayudhey…” goes the lyric of a famous song about India. But the topic in discussion is nothing related to the inspirational and eternal history of the country, rather it is about the part of the society whose pronoun is used to address the country as a whole. While ‘Mother India’ or ‘Bharat Maatha’ is beginning to lose her value across the world, the ‘mothers’ and ‘maathas’ in the country have never been valued, let alone losing it. The appreciation and salutations of women have been restricted only to literature.

Hitler quoted, “Women are nothing but child-bearing machines!”. Here, the basic difference between an average Indian male and Hitler is that Hitler was brave enough to tell it out. Even in mythologies and History, the ladies who were described to be ‘powerful’ were more or less inferior to one male or another. Kannagi burnt a whole city, but she was helpless when she came to know her husband had a secret affair. So why are women projected weaker than a man? The answer is very simple, Indian society is male-chauvinistic!

When the Government announced a 33% reservation for women a couple of years back, it was a surprise for people all over the country because, we people, in our head never believed that a woman would not dare get into public and handle power. But the bitter truth is that for a decade now, even in Board exams, the percentage of girls clearing it, is more than that of the boys! And then suddenly, the country began to encourage (or more precisely, ‘hyped’) the female society. In every field, may it be sports, politics, research and even cinema, females were given more importance. This was and is the problem of our country, we either over-rate something (or someone) or under-rate them.

Old, conservative country was drastically replaced by a newer and more modern country (only physically). Women were made to wear ‘exotic’ and sexier attires to make others believe they were no less to a man (‘lesser’, attires to be more precise.) This change was accepted only by certain parts of the society. Entertainment industry and politics used it as a strategy to gain familiarity. But, middle and lower middle class found it hard to accept.

Even now, though women are given equal importance in education, the crime against women has constantly been rising. The famous ‘Nirbhaya’ and ‘Swathi’ incidents were just a sample of what’s happening in the country for many centuries now. It’s of no use talking about development and empowerment when the very existence of a part of the society is questionable.

This violence against women can be minimized only by strict laws and instant justice. That said, it is only in people’s hands to bring about a change, however trivial and philosophical it may sound.

Again, not all men in the society are cruel or evil, but then, there is a theory in statistics which states ‘The behavior of a population can be determined from its samples’ and the samples we choose determine the society. Respect the other gender and you’re already pronouncing the ‘D’ of Development!

When She Said her Passion is Dead

Source: alansvejk.com
Source: alansvejk.com

“What’s your passion? What do you want to achieve?” I asked her. “My passion is dead. It’s buried” she replied with eyes full of tears. “I’m a girl from a conservative family. I’ve been trying to pursue my passion right from standard 8. I love literature, poetry, and design. The education institutions I studied in ruined my passions. Relatives and parents were discouraging me. Now after ceaseless disappointments and pains, I’m working as a computer programmer. If you ask me what’s my passion, I don’t have an answer. During my childhood I was into dancing, professional dancers asked me to pursue dancing as I had a great future in it. My grandma opposed it strictly and I left dancing. I used to write English poems but when my relatives and parents read it, they asked me “for whom are you writing these? Are you in love?” There ended my tryst with poetry writing. I rarely write nowadays. I played badminton in my high school. My staff said that if I’m trained in the right way, I may excel in it. Then my parents said, “You need to build your body and stay fit for it. You can’t do it”. I locked my badminton dreams in the locker of the gym. My team started hating me for what I’d done. I studied well, scored good marks and got into a decent college. I wanted to become a fashion designer. But, this passion too failed.” She continued speaking.

“I felt lost. I felt terrible. I felt stupid. You may ask, why can’t I pursue my passion without my parent’s knowledge? I can’t, because I’m a girl. I’m a stupid girl! Now I’m earning 50,000 per month. Do you think I’m happy about it? I’m a lifeless person. Nowadays all I think is, I want to get married and settle with a good husband. That’s the only good thing I am fit to do in this society. Do you think I can simply go and ask my parents to get me married? I’m living in a world of hatred, disappointment and humiliation. Just because I wear branded apparels and good-looking shoes, it does not mean that I’m happy. I can easily wear a fake smile. Do you think I can resign my job? I need to give a peaceful retirement to my parents. For that, I need this 50,000 per month. This is the hard truth brother. You may come across many women in your day-to-day lives. I can vouch for sure that this is the condition of almost all girls born into middle-class, narrow-minded, conservative families. I’m not blaming my parents. I blame my ancestors. I blame this biased society. I blame this education system and finally, I blame myself for wasting my life. My passion is dead, but I earn 6 LPA with some programming skill I learned in my college. Wish I was born as a boy, like you brother” saying this, she wiped her tears away, finished her coffee, and checked her face in the front camera of her iPhone. “Do I look fine?” she asked me. I nodded. She smiled and it looked fresh. “My parents will start searching for a groom soon”, she said with tired eyes.

It replayed again and again in my head when I saw her photo in the obituary column of the newspaper 2 years after this incident. There was a “Mrs” before her name.

Two Indian Country Women at 4 AM

4am

What does 4.00 AM remind you of? Sleep (just this for me, of course), mid night study, hostel nights, night shifts, a night before family occasions and whatnot. Medical reports say it is an odd time to be awake at, that can damage the proper hormonal secretion. My mom says that if I keep awake until late hours I will lose all of my hair!

Well, I certainly could easily count the number of 4.00 AM’s I would have seen in my life and I am very sure not even one of those were about studying hard or doing something very important.

One such not-so-important of my 4.00 AM’s took place two days ago. I was with my uncle and aunt, waiting with our car for our driver to arrive. Apparently, the driver had returned at odd hours the night before which was why he didn’t arrive at the expected time. The journey that was planned was a very long one that could cover 400 kilometers back and forth. We were going to the house warming of an apartment that my uncle had bought recently for which we got to be on time. Both the elders were impatiently ringing the driver’s number repeatedly while I lay half-awake on the window of the car.

I was constantly thinking of how I woke up at 3.00 AM in the morning which has almost never happened in my life. My only concern was that the driver should turn up soon so that I can regain the lost sleep. I was going on mentally calculating how I had slept for only 2 hours the night before and how I am going to do nothing but only sleep until we reach the destination. The road was nothing like you would expect as in cities. Mine being a small town, was peacefully slumbering at that time. No lights other than the streetlights, no noise of two wheelers, only countable people at sight, a few stray dogs trotting on the corner of the roads. Having nothing interesting to experience then, I went back to thinking how I had to lose my sleep. Since all the 10+ hours-sleep-a-day plans were executable only during semester holidays, I was telling myself how totally unlikely this situation is! By this time I had decided that I was going to compensate for this by sleeping the whole of next day!

In my faint view, fell something that was moving. As I focused, I was able to make out an old lady coming from the other side of the road. I couldn’t help but wonder what would a woman of her age (definitely beyond 60), was doing there at 4.00 AM. Her hair was undone, she was carrying a very old, disoriented mesh bag with her which for sure contained something to eat or drink. Above all, it was the way she was walking that prompted me to straighten up from my lazy position and to take a closer look. She didn’t walk normally, she had a penguin kind of walk where one side of her body struggled when she weighed the ground with the other side. She couldn’t walk more than 10 steps at one go. She had to pause for every 10 steps even if it was the middle of the road! What if she had to cross the road during heavy traffic? My aunt and I were wondering if she was leaving to work or to home from work!

The day went on and my lost sleep was considerably compensated for. We were returning back after a long day when at 9.00 PM we had to cross through the same spot to get home. To my utter shock my aunt pointed out to me the same old lady sitting on one side of the road with a shop that was laid on road, selling something that I couldn’t really notice as we passed by. If 9.00 PM was her working time, 4.00 AM would have been the time when she went home the previous day after work. My assessment might be wrong, she might have even unusually worked for longer hours the previous day and something that I might never think of. But when one Indian woman was sitting inside comfortably in a car planning to regain her lost sleep at 4.00 AM, another Indian woman was working until then and was making her miserable way home only to work another full day!

The whole thought process is not about people who struggle for a living or about people who complain about small things. It is about the various forms of life role each one plays in this world. Only when you broaden your view, will you come to know that there is just so much of what exists more than you have seen or experienced.

I Don’t

Marriage

Marriage is a common dream. The perfect moment where we are expected to find happiness… To feel content that the person standing opposite or next or sitting elsewhere is the one we’ve been waiting for all these years. There are age old dogmas which run in our society and the idea of marriage is one among them. Sure, it would have been the best practice years ago. But to keep following the same institution of marriage without posing questions about its practices in this era of enlightenment is a mistake.

There is a common tenet to exert dominance- both physical and sexual over a married woman by her husband. Sexual independence is only a dream to many women who feel bereft of having control over their own body. A UN survey says that 2/3 of married women are victims of marital rape. Marital rape is not an easy concept to be understood by many so to explain what it means, marital rape is when a married woman is physically or sexually abused by her husband without her consent.

Our society has been for long, driven by the idea of transaction that marriage also is being looked at as one. Matrimony is often seen as the transaction of ownership from the bride’s family to the groom. With such a transaction and signing of agreement, it is felt that open consent is given to dominate the woman involved and to reach any extent to implicate animalistic torture over her. Because naturally, she has been portrayed as a property according to this practice. There is a fault in the way people perceive marriage. It has shifted from the combination of hearts leading to asserting and establishing love for each other, to a menial idea of open and always available medium for sex.

The awareness about marital rape is so minimal that most women think of it to be a general practice. It is looked upon as a part in the process of getting married. The doctrine of ‘Pathi-Parameshwar’, wherein servitude to one’s husband is paramount is repulsive and to explain against it would only end futile. But how long can someone bear to stand such a torture. Stress after marriage increases abruptly for women due to various reasons, ill-treatment being the first. This is why as per another study, every six hours a married woman is forced to commit suicide.

She walked down the aisle, bursting with smiles. The veil and her bonnet combined couldn’t contain the outburst of joy on her face. He stood there, the guy who would spend eternity with her. He smiled too. She stepped onto the altar and looked at him. He was handsome, well built… a fine lad. She felt glee… Happiness attributed to the content that her parents have done enough justice to the belief she had in them- to have found her the perfect groom. Everything around her was pure magic and she felt ecstatic that this moment was just as she had dreamt. Perfect. All this to get beaten up, tortured, assaulted and feel deprived? Sounds wrong doesn’t it? Well, what is more wrong is that marital rape is not an offence punishable by law according to the Indian Penal Code.

It states that marital rape can only be punishable if the victim is under 16 years of age when the legal age for a woman to get married is 18. Such an age old legislation that is not even under consideration to be altered withal the idea of suppression leads to a situation where many cries of women have gone unheard of. The reason stated for not changing law with respect to this aspect, the reply given was that it would “weaken the institution of marriage”. Well if reporting marital rape would weaken it, I am startled if it was believed that upholding sexual assault would strengthen matrimony.

Well, what is more wrong is that marital rape is not an offence punishable by law according to the Indian Penal Code.

We all talk about ‘Mardaani’ and about how cool it is to be manly. Is it manly to assault and torture one’s wife for something as futile as sex? Is the woman you married just an instrument for pleasure and isn’t her respect supposed to be your priority? Is a woman supposed to be servile or is her life just to please you? Every woman has a say on everything that concerns her. Her body, soul and mind are hers alone and she has total independence over them just as anyone should. Anything apart from that independence is a violation that should be curbed for if a woman is not safe at home, how will she feel safe elsewhere?

So, if she consented to the marriage saying “I Do”, know that the “I Do” is not for anything and everything that is to follow.