“It’s not what we wear, it’s how you stare. It’s not morality, it’s your pathetic mentality”
I gave this thought a thought and happened to reflect on a very tiny and senseless argument I had with my sweetheart a few days back. Since the weather in Mumbai is as good as a hot spell, I personally prefer wearing clothes that are not too clingy. I don’t know why, but I thought of seeking permission from my sweetheart regarding the shorts that I wished to wear that evening. And his instant reply was, “NO”. His denial offended me, I threw a very pugnacious conversation at him. Eventually I ended up wearing my denims along with a casual t-shirt. While on the signal I noticed a pair of lewd eyes staring at me, I felt uncomfortable for a few seconds till we were signaled green. Within a few minutes while we parked our bike, I spotted another bunch of men gawking at a group of young girls passing by.I could now fathom out the reasons of my darling’s concern regarding my clothing. Yes, he wanted me to be safe, he couldn’t have other men staring at me with lust. He was absolutely justified for the denial he put forth earlier.
I wasn’t wearing anything that was provoking, nor were those girls dressed inappropriately. This is something we face everyday and have now become accustomed to it. So conditioned that the moment someone teases us, we walk past quickly, with the fear of becoming their object of pleasure. No women dares to argue with these inglorious bastards, those who tried to, faced ill fate. This reminds me of a very recent rape survivor who finally gave up “Sister Aruna Shanbaug”. Her only fault was that she hurt a male ego unknowingly. As always justice was far away from reality, instead she had to suffer for 42 years of her life.
Whose fault was it? Maybe her clothes, afterall nurses dress provocatively…. Or wait, it could be her words, she had the audacity to argue with a MAN. But definitely not the rapist’s fault, he was helpless, he had to engage himself in the act because she provoked him.
The fault was that she was a WOMAN.
We are all well aware about the case of NIRBHAYA. She was dressed in an Indian attire, what was her fault? She didn’t even argue, she didn’t hurt any ego, instead pleaded to let her go. But they were brutal. Again, the fault was that she was a WOMAN. This was soon followed by the rape of a young photographer in Mumbai. Whose fault was it once again? Her fault. She is a WOMAN , that’s her biggest fault. It could be her clothes, her words, her gestures anything, because SHE provoked HIM.
If that’s the case then what was a five year old’s fault. What did she do to provoke him? Played with her toys, trusted him, because children always see the good in everyone. Was that her fault?
A girl is always questioned about her whereabouts? But a boy is never asked the same question. Women have been objectified for years, it’s time the society stopped that now. We have our own dignity and the need for respect. A woman’s clothes, behavior, mannerisms, gestures, words, are not the causes for rape but are all excuses used by men to rape.
Instead of asking women to change their clothes and lifestyle why don’t you ask the men to change their mentality. Let’s give this a shot because it doesn’t seem to work the other way round.