As a country, we are not where we used to be, but we surely aren’t where we want to be yet. This, particularly, where women are concerned. As women, we are constantly being scrutinized. We are judged on the clothes we wear, the colour of our skin, on the life choices we make and more. Honestly, we have had enough, and it is time to say so! Team New Woman’s Stop The Shame Campaign encourages you to take a stand and raise your voice. It is time we come together to re-engineer the mindsets and eliminate all forms of inequality.
Bullying is definitely not just restricted to women, but we are surely targeted more than men. And it is even more disgusting to know, that most of the bullying women experience is of sexual nature or by any means, physical. Kavita Krishnan, a Delhi-based women’s activist was abused during a live chat on a well-known digital platform, rediff.com. A person with the handle @Rapist posted vulgar comments and asked her where he could come to rape her using a condom. Another renowned journalist, Sagarika Ghose regularly gets referred as “presstitute” and “sickular” by mudslingers on social media and is also threatened of gang rape and stripping. They even went to the extent of tweeting her daughter’s school and class details. Is this the price we pay, for raising our voices?
India’s daughter Nirbhaya, met with a gut-wrenching fate, but was it her fault at all? Spiritual leader and alleged rapist, Asaram Babu asserts that the victim is always equally guilty. Sudin Dhavalikar, part of Goa Legislative Assembly, insists women cover up and not indulge in drinking. Satyapal Singh, then Mumbai police commissioner, blamed it on “a promiscuous culture” when asked to comment on the Shakti mills gang rape in Mumbai. In 2014, in the run-up to elections in the state, Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav opposed capital punishment for rape, saying that it is the girls who approach boys, but when they have some differences, they level rape charges.
As women, we are constantly being scrutinized. We are judged on the clothes we wear, the colour of our skin, on our choices. Why are women blamed when men cross their boundaries? Several actresses have received flak by men who got away with considering a celebrity as public property. From Deepika Padukone to Sonam Kapoor, each actress has been called cheap and called out on skin show. These are the same men who whistle at item numbers, ogle at women in public places and try to get their 2 seconds of pleasure by groping and unsolicited touching.
“I don’t need feminism [because] I don’t need something that tells me the actions of a slut are okay.” This is a quote from a Tumblr account “WomenAgainstFeminism”. More often, it is the women who uphold the age-old patriarchal norms in our society. Stares from moral police-aunties can make you feel naked and like filth. By calling another woman a slut for their lifestyle choices, you are ripping them of their basic rights. In the Indian familial systems, it is highly common for the males to be treated like princes and females as mere servers. As mothers, such women are not only creating a bad example for their daughters but also raising sons who will not respect women and see them as inferiors.
Today, especially teens are under a lot of peer pressure. Young girls are harassed, outcast because of the way they look or choose to dress up. In fact, it is alarming to know that India has ranked third in the world in cyber bullying, according to a recent study.
“Not all men are the same.” This is a rant men at large indulge in. But we usher them to reflect on whether they are doing anything or being mere spectators. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, is a father to two teen daughters and a proud supporter of feminism. He advocates the fact that equal rights is not just a fight for women. The Mayor asserts that men should stand in solidarity with our mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends to say that discrimination, in all shapes and forms, will not be tolerated. Khan has been instrumental in awakening London to the unfair circumstances by publishing City Hall’s first gender pay audit. He is striving to reduce this gap and provide equal opportunities unbiased by one’s gender. On the other hand, we have Mulayam Singh detesting The Women’s Reservation Bill by saying it will only benefit rich and urban women because the poor and rural women are not attractive.
It will only expedite the process if men and women are united in making this country a safe and less harrowing of a place for women. It is time we come together to re-engineer the mindsets and eliminate all forms of inequality.
Makeup courtesy: A‘Kreations Hair & Beyond
Photographs: Yash Bhanushali
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