Dear Aunty – let’s decide who’s responsible for RAPE

Dear Aunty / Mummy-Ji of India,

Let’s get together and once and for all decide who is responsible for RAPE…

The 10 NOs:

  1. No it’s Not Short Skirts!No it’s Not Red Lipsticks!
  2. No it’s Not Make Up!
  3. No it’s Not Low Necklines!
  4. No it’s Not Low waisted Jeans or any Jeans (for that matter)!
  5. No it’s Not Low tied Saris with showing navels!
  6. No it’s Not Transparent Saris!
  7. No it’s Not Her Giggling!
  8. No it’s Not Her Looking at Boys!
  9. No (definitely NOT) her “asking for it”!

Top5 YES’s:

  1. Yes it’s Men (who rape)!
  2. Yes it’s Women and Men like you who justify Rape (giving any of the reasons above)!
  3. Yes it’s Men Feeling Threatened that their entitlement has been snatched!
  4. Yes it’s Men who feel that it’s their duty to show Women their rightful plate (them being judge and jury to punish wayward Women).
  5. Yes it’s Mother and Aunties who seem to have brought up Men Like THIS!

#FoodForThought!

#LetsChangeTheWayWeBringUpBoys!

#StopGBV

Regards,
Malavika Sharma
(A Well Meaning and extremely Alarmed Indian Woman)
A Thinker
An Activist

What is it like being a woman in India?

Some thoughts shared by women aged 18 to 40yrs – women who have lived out experiences – of their own and of other women around them.
These women are ALL from educated backgrounds and can easily be called “privileged”.
BUT their echoes of “What it is like to be a WOMAN in India?” are eerily similar.
(I have put in 10 broad themes out – and have tried to capture “as is” thoughts – I haven’t analyzed anything or tried to justify anything….)
  1.  Women aren’t safe outside their homes: You are never ever safe outside home as per what elders say… But what about sexual abuse within the house? As a child or an adult? We don’t speak of it…
  2. Wearing short clothes leads to rape??? Don’t wear short clothes? What will people say? What if you get raped? Why don’t people accept that rape and sexuality don’t go together – rape is about control and mental and physical dominance. The Nirbhaya kand proves it… She wasn’t wearing a mini skirt! (Rape is a simple non-consensual / forced act of having sex. It implies complete dominance of body and decision-making power to the rapist. The brutality is not just on the body but on the soul of the woman – she lives it each day – every day!)
  3. The Great Indian SLAP : Oh, why is it so ok to slap a woman if she is wrong? Face palm slap across the face? Just watch any serial or movie… Even if she is a villain – why a slap across the face? The sheer violence of it – and then the worst is the acceptance of this violence as “normal and acceptable”. If a halla is made around a slap – the prompt answer is it’s just a slap”. No one sees it as an act of authority and complete dominance – first to judge you and then to get physically violent with you! And off course the fact that “she was asking for it”…. something commonly told to us to explain away THE SLAP.
  4. Educated and well-placed women don’t want girl kids: Do you know women who are educated and working with a good salary want ONLY sons? They are fine with aborting a girl child – then it’s not about education and the money you earn – it’s about a DISGUSTING mindset! A mindset which says girls are inferior and a liability! Patriarchy and misogyny! An argument with such women leads to the defense that “don’t you know the status of women in society etc etc, also how unsafe it is…. etc etc” – and somehow they seem to forget that they too are women who were educated by their parents…
  5. WHY do horrible Patriarchal Marriage rituals still exist? Why do educated women allow for patriarchal marriage rituals like Bidai to happen? It gives complete control to the male of the house – where a father does “kanya-daan” to the husband – as if the girl/woman is an inanimate object. Are you aware that in some places the rituals are preposterous enough where the father of the bride goes down on his knees and washes the feet of the groom to be as a “mark of respect” (for God’s sake the guy is as old as his son – WHY this respect? Lets call a spade a spade – its NOT respect – its all about “DOMINANCE”)
  6. DOWRY is a CRIME – why do women allow it being given? Why don’t women refuse to marry men demanding dowry or mothers/fathers of the boy demanding dowry? If a man or his family has to be paid to marry your daughter – then why doesn’t he move into your home – after all you are buying him?If it’s about property rights of the girls etc etc – then let there be a property division where the girl gets what’s hers – and NOT the husband or in-laws! This shall ensure that no girl is killed! For if they kill the girl then the property would revert back to the father’s family in case of no heir or goto the child of the dead girl – the husband and in-laws would not be gaining… WHY don’t we push for this awareness?
  7. Why don’t we shame the rapists??? Why do we always shame the rape survivor? See any immediate hush hush reaction to a rape report! Do you know even the police try to hush up matters… So the moment any girls runs to you or anyone speaking of her rape – the immediate reaction is “Shhhh…. “WHY – shy should she Shhh? She hasnt dont anything wrong! She has been violated in the worst possible way… BTW – in cases of marital rape the Shhhhh is followed by “ye to hota hi hai, its his right” – so the woman has no control over her body?
  8. India has pedophiles! Why aren’t we acknowledging pedophiles? And creating strict laws and punishments around it? And why are we blaming western culture for everything? We never spoke about it earlier…. That doesn’t mean it didn’t happen?
  9. Why do the women members of a rapist’s family never stand in favour of the victim? Why do they look the other way? Why do they justify the ACT as “boys will be boys”? And push for “mere ladke ki zindagi kharab ho jaayegi” – thus implying that the ACT itself didn’t ruin his life – and possibly that the girl’s life isn’t important enough…
  10. Domestic violence is an acceptable part of marriage: The family elders – on both sides tell the woman to “suck it up and brave it – it happens to everyone” and further add “You should try to please him and not annoy/anger him”. Adding to this is the fact that the police also tell the women that only…. and add “madam aap kaise thaane ke chakkar lagaogi…. ye sab to hota rahta hai”
Even lawyers discourage the woman from going to court unless she is rich! They simply see it as “normal occurance” and a matter of rights of the husband – and they claim that in any case the woman shall go back to the husband – so why bother…. (loads of arguements around fees for lawyers and paper work for police people)
These 10 thoughts are from women who have spent time in trying to change themselves and the society around them!
#changeByTalking 

Radha Teri Chunari

Radha – lay quietly weeping on the floor, she had physically curled up like a fetus!

Her hair was a mess, her bangles broken, her clothes ripped, her face battered and bruised, her hands scratched…


Next morning she was woken up by a sound on the door – and she rushed to open it – to realize that she didn’t even have proper clothes on (hers were torn).

A woman and her MIL came in – and sniggered – “Looks like they had fun…”

 


FUN : This word echoed in Radha’s mind. How the F*** have fun when someone is beating you, cussing at you, tearing your clothes off, scratching you, forcibly entering you…

Continue reading Radha Teri Chunari

That Boy loved “SPICE”

Vivaan or “the Rock” as people called him – was the high school football caption and was up for National Selections in 1 month.

So was Ruhail…

Vivaan and Ruhail were the proverbial “Jai Veeru” jodi from Sholay and the whole school knew that! And yet they were the most aggressive competitors!

Be it girls or grades or the highest number of goals – they competed on absolutely everything!

And NO they had NO secrets! EVER!

The bro-code remained…. until it didn’t…

Vivaan – The Boy Who loved Spice

Continue reading That Boy loved “SPICE”

THE GIRL WHO NEVER lied

Raima had turned 24 yesterday, and she had had the biggest party ever. She had called all her friends from college and all the families who lived nearby.

The food was smashing and the music ethereal.

The guests she was sure would have been stumped and stunned (had they turned up)

Raima – The Girl Who Never Lied

Continue reading THE GIRL WHO NEVER lied

THE GIRL WHO NEVER laughed

Rukku was all dressed up in this amazing long red flowing gown. Her hair was perfectly set as straight waterfall like shiney and smooth black depths. Her lips were a ruby red.

The ocean beyond beckoned but she looked onto the stars – as if tempting them to come to her.

“Rukku – where are you?” , came a loving male voice (almost like a caress)

Rukku in Red (this is a free image used from the internet)

Continue reading THE GIRL WHO NEVER laughed

Dear Mom …. Please Raise me as a Feminist Son!

Drawing inspiration from ALL amazing Moms (and Dads) who are raising amazingly Feminist Sons

These are normal people from all walks of life, from working professionals, to stay at home moms and a few stay at home dads, to some vibrant parents from the Bottom of the Pyramid…

Dear Mom ,

Please Raise me as a Feminist Son!

A Boy – needing to be a Feminist!

Continue reading Dear Mom …. Please Raise me as a Feminist Son!

What do YOU say to someone who has been raped….

I had the most awful moment of awkward silence a few months back, a woman whom I had been speaking to and counselling about her career and job – just blurted“I was raped…”

This is a 23 year old woman who has been struggling to hold down 1 job and juggle a possible degree! She has always had this haunted and almost vacant look about her – which I could never explain!

The discussion that day was me scolding her for not taking her life seriously – and I was actually reprimanding her – when she had been bunking her evening classes….

And she said the “R” word – and that lead me to the discovery that I lacked the vocabulary to speak to her!

So WHAT should you say/not say or do/not do when someone close to you or someone comes up and says “I was raped….”

                                                                         A woman in PAIN! Continue reading What do YOU say to someone who has been raped….

Is she ACTUALLY being Sexually Harassed?

Men and Women BOTH always question if a woman ACTUALLY being Sexually Harassed , or did she misunderstand? Or it wasn’t meant to be? Or she was over-reacting?

 Then the uglier spectrum of – oh she was just “asking for it”, – look at the way she dresses, look at the way she drinks at office parties, look at the way she stays back late to work, look at the way she always works in men only teams

                                                                        Woman at WORK!

So De-Coding ACTUAL Sexual Harassment in 10 quick steps:

Continue reading Is she ACTUALLY being Sexually Harassed?

On the eve of Women’s Day…

On the eve of Women’s Day – lets change the way our Public Figures speak out against women and their right to live!

How you ask? After all the constitution gives women equal rights – and the IPC protects women – well lets just start with random comments made from large public platforms like “boys will be boys” and “women are like sugar who shall attract ants”….

Do we smell Misogyny anyone?

10 quick WHAT NOT to do for our Public Figures….

                               Why cant our Public Figures stop misogynistic speeches?

Continue reading On the eve of Women’s Day…