- Parneet Kaur
That's What She Said.
“I always thought that there was nothing an antifeminist would want more than to have women only in women’s organizations, in their own little corner empathizing with each other and not touching a man’s world. If you’re going to change things, you have to be with the people who hold the levers.” — The New York Times
Women make up half the world’s population, quite literally, however far too often, their voices, experiences, and contributions are overlooked or undervalued. They are majorly underrepresented in the arenas of political and economic power, and unfortunately widely represented in the newspaper headlines covering slut shaming, eve teasing, sexual assaults and many more gut wrenching incidents. While barriers — from gender-based violence and lack of equal opportunities, to laws that hold women to a dissimilar standard — block the path to development .
The world right now is dissected into two parts, one with feminists who have productively understood the magnitude of the juncture and thinking of putting a full stop on the prejudice they face by lawfully demanding for reproductive rights, equal representation, and smashing the biased and patriarchal societies by their unvarying and unbreakable efforts. The other side of the world is busy making songs, sexually objectifying women in all possible manner be it calling them a " Tasty treat " or horribly body shaming them. You might be wondering why am I ranting so much about women's' safety if their rights are well protected by the law and its makers? Be it the recent High Court judgement in India (Bombay) including "Groping without skin-to -skin contact is not sexual assault" (currently on stay order) or the chief Justice asking "will you marry the victim?" to the person who raped her, the list of reasons is long!
What also echoes in my mind is an incident that recently took place during the farmers protests which is ongoing in India, where the farmers are rightfully protesting against the 3 amendments which are a threat to their employment and livelihood. To show her devoted support to the farmers a young girl, Jass Kaur, was bravely present at the site of protest and was seen sharing some intriguing videos and unseen pictures of the protest on her social media handle. A few days ago, she shared an incident from her experience at the site which was spine-chilling. She reported of eve teasing a number of times but no heed was paid to it, rather it was she who was actually made to pay the price of being a girl and was shifted to another site. Though she complained about the boys involved to DR. SWAIMAN SINGH, no action was taken against the offenders. The incident is a poor reflection on the blatant mindset of Indian society and the unsuitability of men. Where did she go wrong to face such shameful humiliation? Was it her being a dogmatic woman, not needing a man to make her decisions and speaking for herself? Or was it the fragile and contaminated male ego which was impaired by seeing a more progressive, passionate and ambitious woman? Maybe ALL .
Dr. Swaiman Singh, a cardiologist from the United States
Photo Credit: CNN.com
Every society, when confronted with conscience-jolting and repulsive acts of evil, reacts with vindictive anger and repulsion. The cry for tougher and stricter laws to deter crimes against women is a refusal to disentangle rape from the societal framework. Lawmakers don't even bother to discuss rudimentary women-friendly safety protocols to deter opportunistic misdeed such as proper lighting in public spaces, unfailing public transport and visible existence of the guardians of the law during odd hours of the night. One should expect our parliamentarians to struggle with the multiple and deep-rooted social and cultural dimensions of carnage against women. Keeping women’s safety a hostage to the ebb and tide of shifting public frenzy and media publicity will divert attention away from the need to begin transformational legislation such as the Women’s Reservation Bills and laws on a global level. The pervasive blindness to the correlation between power lop-sided and gender inequality has catastrophic consequences. Some come up and have the audacity to say "not all men" and not a single diligent soul considers, ALL WOMEN THOUGH!
Womanhood is not necessarily assigned by birth, it's a choice. When I talk about women safety, I humbly include the people who are gender binary, and gender queer, and proudly adopt womanhood as and when they feel in their respective life. They deal with all kinds of physical and mental slurs and their rights and safety issue often lands on deaf ears, which most definitely makes a strong foundation of a society with limiting beliefs. There is much more in the world than a man and a women. Educating people on gender stratification would mean introducing them to world more than black and white which would take quite a while to understand, if taught at tender age in schools, it won't be that big of a hurdle to overcome .
The television advertisements which are broadcasted are majorly viewed by the young audience often show women as a primary care provider, looking after the family, doing the dishes and even saved by the 'mighty men' who were her molesters in the first place, ironically enough? Watching such gender biased and unequally represented roles makes a child fix his/her beliefs in a particular manner which often proves to be a burden on the upcoming generation. Improvement in depiction of popular culture would be a step up in the degraded male orientated society.
Crimes against women are a blot on our ethics and we must spare no effort to chastise the perpetrators of such crimes. The fortification of women from all forms of abuse and oppression is now a global duty and a pivotal task. The status of women needs the incessant attention of the government, civil society; all those who are role models must play an imperative role in shaping public opinion, thus aiding in the evolution of united and mutual efforts to ensure the safety, security and rightfully dignity of women who do not require the protection by the third person and are well capable of doing so, rather they require constant efforts by the other groups to have an unbiased eye and a motive of tranquillity.