My train of thoughts broke abruptly and so did the pace of my evening walk.
The whistle accompanied by a lewd comment that would be embarrassing to share on a social site, made my heart skip a beat. The fear gave way to anger as I saw that my predator, was a boy, probably just in his teens! He had the audacity to make such a remark to a girl who was visibly older to him. Women have that sixth sense inherently developed right from childhood that can distinguish between a casual or a meddling glance. If you are a girl, the radar is alerted and automatically switched on the moment you encounter prying male eyes or rowdy remarks.
Men have it seems always possessed the right to stare and pass unfiltered comments. You try to retort back, you’d be blamed for “asking for it”! What’s worse is that the society preaches to the victim to ignore such vulgarity with lowered eyes. For it is the norm in this patriarchal society, the blame ball is passed to the victim. Probably she wasn’t dressed appropriately or she gave the hint! I’m sure we haven’t forgotten Sheila Dixit’s remark on the murder of journalist Soumya Vishwanathan that ‘one should not be adventurous being a woman.’ Nor have we digested the 8 pm curfew imposed by the Gurgaon police on women employees. Not only has this encroached on women’s freedom and curtailed women employment , it’s more like giving the beasts a free pass to do their will after 8pm. Why can’t they put the same restraint on men for at least a day in a week! Why can’t Gurgaon police ensure security by patrol cars and plaindressed policemen.
The Gurgaon case is just an example. You would probably laugh out loud and cry altogether with tears of regret at being born a girl if you hear revered Mamta Banerjee’s comments! She believes the rape cases are a conspiracy by the Left to discredit her party. We have a woman president right, I wonder if she’s listening. She it seems, is just too contented in bundling up all women travelling in Delhi metro in the “pink coach” and with the women reservation bill in the fight for so-called “equality”.
It’s such a satire! It’s the same land where a girl is worshipped during navratras. It’s the same country where Devi is godhead, the supreme, divine force. In the same country, a women can’t be herself and follow her dreams, she can’t live a single day in her life without being reminded that she is a girl! There are certain standards she has to trail on failing which the social order will not take any responsibility of any danger that befalls her. Even If she does comply with the norms, there is no assurance.
To the girls, well all I can say is keep that radar on. Self defense tricks isn’t a bad idea In the wake of recent events, unfortunately it’s wiser ( it’s cowardly I know), but yes, sensible to keep safe. Do not ignore random incidents , they might recur at unpredictable levels. Bring it to the notice of people you know will and can do something about it. In case of street teasing, shout and garner public attention. The damsel in distress act may get the predator a few blows he will remember the next time he dares such impudence. Lastly, don’t ever dare think it’s your mistake. That’s probably the worst thing that you can do to that girl in the mirror!