Being a young girl, I’m always told by my parents that we’re living in ‘bad times’. It’s not safe for girls to step out at night. It’s not safe for girls to wear short dresses and go out. Apparently, it is not safe for us to do anything. A woman should be able to step out of her house late at night without having a man by her side, without pocket knives and pepper sprays, and not have the fear of being robbed, verbally abused, abducted or raped.
Back in 2016, our school had organized an overnight school trip and we were all called so that we could be briefed about the trip. When addressing us, one of our teachers said, “I request the girls to wear decent clothes. No shorts or spaghetti straps or whatever. If you want to experiment with your clothes do it when you go on a vacation with your parents.” Now, my question is that why were we asked to do this? Why are my clothes being considered indecent? They do cover up what needs to be covered. Why do I have to change the way in which I dress just to keep myself safe? Why can’t I be safe while wearing something that I would like to?
A woman’s clothes are not considered indecent because they are actually indecent but because apparently, it entitles men to treat them like a possession. A woman is reduced merely to an object, a prize.
A woman wearing a short dress does not entitle a man to do anything. A woman staying out late at night does not allow a man to do anything. A woman being drunk does not permit a man to do anything. A woman can do whatever the hell she wants but that still doesn’t entitle a man to anything. Society needs to stop making excuses and to try and justify the action of these disgraceful men. We need to stop ‘Victim Shaming’. A woman is not responsible for her being robbed, abused or raped. It does not make sense and I don’t know why society fails to understand that.
We need to teach the boys and the men how to treat and respect a woman. We need to teach them that without a woman’s consent they are not entitled to do anything to her. We need to teach them from the day they are born that a woman is their equal and not a subordinate. The only way to stop these crimes is to uproot them from the very core of the society. Instead of oppressing the girls we need to apprise the boys.
This is already a very serious problem. Let us not be responsible for not making it stop when we actually can.
Thank for reading through this rant!! I had to get all the anger out after watching the debate on the mass molestation that happened in Bangalore on 1st January.