“It’s that first moment when you hold your baby girl and you didn’t know that anything could be so small or so delicate. And you feel that tiny heartbeat and you know that you could not love anything more in whole world. And you hope that you can do right by that little girl and always be there to catch her when she falls and that nothing ever hurts her. Not a broken arm, or a bad dream…or a broken heart.” ( Taken from the movie 17 Again.)
But that little girl grows up, as it is destined by the nature for her. Then she has to move out of the house for one reason or another. And at the end of the day, when you see a line of agony on her face and you ask the reason behind it, she just smiles, says nothing. In fact she has got a lot to say…but nobody to listen. She knows that you won’t be able to bear the stuff she has got to say…that she was being stared by a man of her father’s age, that someone tried to feel her amid all that morning rush of the train, that someone passed a lewd comment on her without a reason, that every time she steps out of her house on to the road, she has to feel numerous gazes sliding all over her body and scrutinizing it as if it were some commodity, rather than flesh or blood, that she wants to be treated as a human being, that she wants to scream at each of them, at the top of her voice, but she can’t…
She wants to complain…but to whom to complain? To the society? Haah…it is the same society which used to burn its daughters alive not more than a hundred years ago. It is the same society which every year, kills 500,000 girls in wombs, even before they can formally take birth. Complaining to this society will result in nothing. This society will ask her to cover up her own body, to trace her limits and to stay within them. This society will tell her that if she is suffering, the reason behind it is she herself. This society will teach her how to tolerate, how be silent, to hold the tears back, to ignore, to suffer the hell without making it known to anyone. If you make it known, if you cry, if you shout, you are compromising with your own dignity, which again is unacceptable to this society.
I also, am a part of the same society. I, myself, have never done any such eve-teasing…but I accept, that I have been a silent observer at times, and I also accept the fact that being silent is as much of a sin as the sin itself. What I used to believe was that these are not regular events, that these things are done only for fun by those in their teenage etc etc… or I had an attitude like…hey, why so serious? But recently, some events occurred which shattered all my beliefs. The worst of those was when I saw a man in his Seventies passing a very very cheap comment on a girl of 13-14 years of age. And that experience left me with an extremely bitter taste in my mouth. I could not believe what I was watching…or I didn’t want to believe it. I always believed that the newspapers and other media exaggerate things. But I talked about this to the girls I know…and the things they told me sent shivers down my spine. Believe me, nothing is exaggeration…not to the tiniest bit. The situation is much much grave…if you know the real things, the media will appear to be Saint. Then I came across a page on Facebook named Eve Teasing Confessions, and I read the confessions on that page. The entire experience was just shocking. It was the last blow.
Read one such confession…perhaps it will give some insight.
“I knoe guys its too long bt jst readit 4 ur sister,ur gf ,ur mother 4 evry women who is part of ur life nd try to feel de pain……….. ….. Oh nonononono. Don’t say you know it. Because you don’t know. You don’t know how it feels when people grab your b****ts in a crowded place. You don’t know how it feels when they stare straight at your cleavage. When you suddenly realize that someone is rubbing himself against your ******** in a bus or a metro. When they peep into your phone’sscreen. When they pass by you in their superfast vehicles hitting your b****ts or ********, whistling at you, and telling you all that they want to do with you. You don’t know when a man riding a motorcycle passes by you telling you that he will f*ck you till you cry, and die. You don’t know when somebody takes his tongue out and licks his lips to tell you that he would do the same with you, then climbs onto a bus and goes away. You don’t know how it feels when your friend comes to you and tells you that she was hit and slapped by two bikers on a busy road of a busy afternoon. When you see your girl-friends not being allowed by their families to leave their hometowns for their future studies. When a friend tells you how an auto-wala stared at her in his rear-view mirror, drove slow on normal roads, and speeded it up near a speed breaker to assert his masculinity over a female sitting behind him. When guys ask their girlfriends to take certain pictures off Facebook, and not talk to certain men. You do not know how it feels when your parents ask your brother to accompany you wherever you go; no matter he is younger than or older to you. When you have to seek your parents’ permission a hundred times before you could go out in a‘group’ to celebrate a friend’s birthday. When your mother scrutinizes you before you could leave your home. When your parents call you every evening just to ensure that their daughter is back to her hostel safely. When you can’t go somewhere all alone because you are simply too scaredof nothing but humans. The Mukherjis, the Asarams, the always-have-been-protected women, the government-vehicle users, the Khaps, the chauvinistic blinds, or the simple unaware men, you don’t know—anything. You must not talk. You must shut up.”
Now this is a girl screaming her heart out when she is assured of her anonymity. Did it appeal to you…?
What have we become? Have we morphed into a society of perverts, a society of sexually frustrated animals? At least the recent rape of the 5 years old girl child indicates the same. Not even animals do such things to their pups. So what’s the reason behind it? Porn? Movies? Songs? Erotica? Lack of education? Sex ratio? Government?
The answer is not so simple. It is much much complex. A whole psychology works behind it. At the end of the day, we ourselves are the culprits. Actually, man was designed to kill…our canines are the remnants of that killer instinct. Somewhere deep within that animal still sleeps. But the thing which separates us from other animals is that we know how to tame and control the animal within us. So what is the trick? There is no trick. It is the environment in which you grow up and you are groomed. It all originates from within your family, what your parents have taught you. Your actions reflect the ethics you were taught. If you can abuse someone other’s mother it indicates that you were never taught how to respect your own mother. If you can’t respect someone other’s daughter, you will never respect your own. The manners which your family, your father, your mother, your elders follow are directly reflected in your modus operandi. If someone is manhandling a girl, it shows clearly what his mother has failed to teach him. Those ethics are the very things which suppress the savage impulses without even letting you know.
But the main problem is that ours is a male dominated society. No one is ready to teach these simple things to their male kids. Imposing restrictions on the female kids seems to be a lot easier. An environment is created in which the girl is apparently cut-off from any type of exposure. The gravest example is the situation of girls residing in any girls’ hostel of any college and university. It’s just like a concentration camp minus a gas chamber. Those hostels are like those Ghettos in which once the unfortunate Jews were forced to live in. Why can’t we just teach our boys to behave in a manner worthy of a well groomed man? Is it so difficult to change the mentality to conceive girls as property, a transferrable one, one which can be spoiled and so it is necessary to protect it. Couple of days ago, I was watching a BBC Documentary on Indian Partition in which an elderly Sikh was telling the harrowing story that how his sister, mother and every other woman of his family was killed by his father and uncle to avoid their abduction, rape and conversion by the raiding mobs. I am talking about this very mentality…to consider women as property. This mentality has to be changed.
No law, no regulation will be able to stop this juggernaut of social carnage. Even if we make a strict law, the effect will only be immediate effect, for long term effect, we will have to start it on the grass root level, right from the beginning. We will have teach our sons the meaning of respect. And when I say the word respect, I don’t mean to say that we should conceive every other girl as our sister or mother or like that. It’s neither feasible nor rational…rather, it’s ridiculous. Respect can be shown in our behavior, very simply. Just make the girl feel that she is as normal as anyone else, she is not a showpiece, she is not a commodity. Admire her beauty, because beauty is meant to be admired, but don’t make her feel that you are assessing her. It’s simple, all we have to do is to be nice, and to be normal. And believe me, it feels good. A girl has got as much right to live, to enjoy as you have got…what you have to do is to make this world a better place to live for her.
I have lot more to say, but I hope this one line is able to say all that I want to..
“ A man who treats his girl like a princess, has surely been raised in the hands of a queen.”
For those who want to go to the confession page, I am providing the link.