This conversation is important for obvious reasons. Yes, I choose to call this a conversation, not a blog post. If this post catches you nodding in acceptance or tugs some strings in your heart, it will obviously become a conversation between my pen and your heart and I hope it does.
America or India, we have a very long way to go before we call ourselves a progressive civilisation. Globalization has helped people like me understand that the situation is just about the same everywhere. The US Presidential elections and the way Brock Turner case is turning out to be so nauseously similar to Nirbhaya are so telling of the place that women have in the society as of today. Irrespective of culture and country, when assault happens, it is so convenient to say that the woman asked for it. Nirbhaya was out for a movie with a man and Brock's victim was drunk. As if these are reasons enough to violate a woman's body in the most horrifying ways. I wouldn't wish such torture even for the perpetrator. An eye for an eye would make the entire world blind. And NO, locking up girls or asking them to not look pretty or asking them to cover up is not the solution.
The only two definite long term solutions that I can see:
1. Inspire more and more women to ignore judgement, accept responsibility for their own lives and live it up. Yes, there is something definitely intimidating about strong and strong / badass looking women ( Weird but true, I certainly get lesser stares at the gym since my short haircut! )
2. Get more men into the conversation. The kind and good men of the world (there are many) need to get vocal and dismiss their misogynistic male friends, stand up for the women in their lives, including their mothers. Understand that it is NOT okay for one parent to treat another like a doormat and the only people who can intervene are the children. If the father treats the mother like shit, stand up for her, even if it means fighting the father. If the sister is treated like shit by his brother in law, don't ask the sister to adjust for the sake of family honour. When a girl dumps your friend, don't gang up with him to call her a b****. Say NO to marital rape, domestic violence and abuse. If a friend gets assaulted, stand up for her. It is excruciating to go through abuse and unless we have more men talking about it, the world will remain where it is. Guys, your sisters, daughters and wives have the same anatomy too. Why wait until something happens to them?
The more I think about it, the more I believe EACH ONE of us is responsible in some way or the other for the mess that we have created. As women, we have either been submissive or ignorant and as both genders, we have deliberately chosen to turn a blind eye to the day to day atrocities all around us.
We all react where there is a rape - but unless we act by making small lifestyle and mindset changes, our roads, trains and public places will remain unsafe, our girls guarded, our mothers ill-treated, our female friends touched inappropriately every single day in public transport, our DAUGHTERS and SONS molested by unknown men and paedophiles and they won't even tell us about it because 'cultured Indian families won't discuss sexual issues', our wives condescended at work because she is a woman, our country considered as one of the most unsafe places for women in the world.
What are we going to do differently, from TODAY?
I pledge to stand up against atrocities in my own way, whenever and wherever I see it. I pledge to bring up a good young man into the society. I pledge to impart proper sex education to my child as a responsible parent. I pledge to inspire women to stand up to themselves. I pledge to help well meaning men understand how they can help.
Lets be the change we want to see.
P.S: This post was what triggered me to write: https://firstname.lastname@example.org/michelle-marks-is-dead-brock-turner-is-a-rapist-men-are-still-blaming-literally-every-single-b107c02fada3#.x24zi0mb7