Protests everywhere, in all the major cities of our country. To most of us, it looks like that they are protesting to seek justice for the brave girl who is fighting against death after a brutal torture but the point that has been majorly missed is that each and every woman who is out on streets right now or is protesting through social media has been a victim of violence herself.
Violence are of three kinds- Personal Violence when physical and mental harm are caused to women of which rape is a brutal kind, Structural Violence when the structure of the society is such that women are always placed at an inferior position as compared to male- thus patriarchy(dominance of men- power to take decisions) is a structure which is violent towards women and cultural violence which means our very attitude, thoughts and ideas which stop us from changing but let us maintaining these sorts of violence against women. Here violence means any act which reduces ability of women to remain free from all kinds of harm.
Now the issue is that we are making the mistake of looking at the protests as an act against personal violence alone ie most of us including all these reporters who are narrating the visuals of protests to a bigger audience are thinking that this is only to seek justice for the victim. Without an iota of doubt, it is essentially this case which has led to such massive reaction from the ‘public’ and it will be impossible to breath in this country until these accused get the toughest possible punishment but what also needs to be noted is that violence of all three kinds- Structural, Cultural and Personal are well-entrenched in our society. All those women on the street are victim of a society which does not let them be! From the day that they are born to the day that they die, women are always under society’s eye!
I can here ‘rant’ about how women always have to compromise right from the choice of career to choice of clothes and number of children she would bear to the guy she would marry but what is often questioned is linkage of these compromises to incidents like rape.
So what I propose here is that this is the time! Let’s being a woman, stop taking any kind of injustice- any kind from hereon. Even if he is someone as dear as your father. You should explain to him that being a person yourself, you can take your own care. There is no reason why should be treated like a ‘half man’! What we face is what only we will get. It is easy for the world to label few of us as ‘feminist’ and joke about us but if each of us will be feminist- will they be able to mock us then? It is ‘common sense’ that girls can’t go out in night, they have to wear ‘appropriate clothes’ but who makes this ‘common sense’? Should not we question these common-senses? Would not it be better if we settle for a win-win common sense- That what a girl does or the way she lives is her own prerogative. No one not even her dad (unless out of love and respect and not as a given) can dictate the terms to her! Don’t let a ‘caring’ male friend tell you that you should be ‘careful’!
Let’s just change what is common sense but unjust to women as equals. Think of it this way, that what if six women are there in a bus and a couple boards it and enters in a scuffle? Would not they end it amicably or may be fight but will not rape the guy and beat up the girl? If we are able to establish women as equals and not as a vulnerable section of the society than may be in the nights to come, six men will not think of raping a girl after intoxication in a moving bus with curtains where even without curtains no one cared few days ago!
For this fighting against personal violence is not enough, lets fight against the structures and cultures which let violence unleash upon women.
Let’s take this fight to every RWA, each colony, every locality and even your home and personal relationships! You have had enough of living like a crippled being. You do have two hands, two legs and an equally awesome mind!