International Women’s Day was just a couple of days ago. 8th March, 2015, this year. A day to remember that a woman is important in this world, too and that she needs to be treated with respect. One day on which every person in the world strives to show how much they respect women. One day to show that despite dedicating her whole life to the people around her, a woman gets to be respected only on one day. Just one day.
There might not be anything here that you haven’t already read about, but this is my point of view.
What is so special about Women’s Day? Why is there a Women’s Day? Just to remind ourselves what heinous acts are done every second and that they should not be done? And to remind ourselves that women need to be respected? Why should there be such bias in the world? Why can’t a woman receive the same respect every second of her life that she “apparently” receives on Women’s Day? Why is it so hard for people to open their minds and accept that women are equal in the society?
These questions are redundant. They have already been raised and have received ridiculous answers. Like the following:
“We have the best culture. In our culture, there is no place for a woman.” – M. L. Sharma, Defense Lawyer for Nirbhaya’s rapists.
If there was no place for a woman in our culture, there would be no culture! Where do all the men come from? From their father’s womb? Or did they just sprout straight from hell? Yes, hell, because men who spout such poppycock cannot descend from the heavens. Ever!
“The victim is as guilty as her rapists.” – Asaram Bapu (so-called Baba).
Yes, “victim” is just a word. Nothing has happened to the “victim”. The victim needs to be punished. Because she started it. She shouldn’t roam the streets and should not attract the eyes of lecherous men. There is nothing that a man like this self-proclaimed “Bapu” or that fiend could not say regardless of what the woman is wearing. If the victim was wearing jeans, it’s the influence of western culture. Hence, rape. If the victim was wearing a saree, people can see her stomach and back. Hence, rape. If the victim was wearing a salwar-kameez, people can see her face. Hence, rape. Yeah, right. There is nothing that we can do to make sure that women are safe.
“If the limit of morality is crossed by women, such cases will happen.” – Kailash Vijayvargiya.
Ah. Look. In this country, morality applies only to women. Men can do and wear whatever they want while women are forced to “stay within” the limits. Yes, there is absolute morality in a man committing such crimes. Because it is the woman’s fault after all. Isn’t it?
“Rape happens by mistake.” – Ramsewak Paikra.
Wait. What? YOU were born by mistake. How can something like this happen by mistake? Next thing that happens is I punch you repeatedly in the face. You know, by mistake.
“If you cannot stop rape, you enjoy it.” – Ranjit Sinha. Former CBI director.
Yes. CBI Director. He is supposed to be bringing the devils to justice and here he is, acting like the devil himself.
Such things are happening in the country today. Such people exist in the country and we are “celebrating” Women’s Day like everything is going to be alright if we do. Sure, I appreciate all the wishes and the sincere hope from everyone that women can finally be treated as equal to men. But it’s not going to go away once we “celebrate” this day. We need to work. Till the time these nincompoops are reigning at such positions, nothing is going to happen. Women are not going to be safe.
In this country, we are more worried about a terrorist’s comfort in jail than we are worried about the sentiments of a victim and her family. We are more worried about a celebrity’s marital status when he’s fifty than the future of an acid attack victim. We are more worried about the clothes worn by the Prime Minister than the clothes being brutally torn off of a woman’s body. We are more worried about “Log kya kahenge?” than “Beti ko kya chahiye?” We are more worried about what the society will think if a daughter falls in love than giving her away in marriage to a perfect stranger.
In such chaos that is ruling the country, when people come out and say, “Happy Women’s Day”, I find it ironic. I do find it nice, to some extent, that you appreciate the women in your life. I really do. But then Women’s Day in this country is a day to remember that being a woman is not easy. It never was and never will be. With all the restrictions and the absurdities inflicted on us, being a woman is a burden. At least that’s what many men (and unfortunately, many women, too) in the country will have you think.
They say things that are disgusting. Like they were dropped from the womb of hell. Or they must be. They strive to show that women are nothing. They strive to make us feel ashamed of being a woman. And that is the worst part that could ever happen to a human being. Being ashamed of oneself.
But women! It is not us that have to be ashamed. It is them. They should be ashamed, for they are no human beings. They can never be human after saying things that bring them to shame. And this is not only in India. I mean across the world. They treat women like slime, like they are meant to be trod upon. I hope that one day we can finally say that we live in a rape-free world.
There are many men in our country who respect us for who we are and treat us like equals. They believe in gender equality. They help us in every step of our lives and love us for who we are. Despite the distances, they still remember us and care for us. And to those men, thank you. Thank you for respecting and loving us on every day of the year. As fathers. As brothers. As friends. As boyfriends. As husbands.
I am lucky. Really lucky to have supportive and protective parents, brothers and friends. Not everyone in the country has these. A big shout-out to all of you and a big, big thank you. You make my life easier. You make me feel carefree and make me feel cared for. Thank you for making me feel special and thank you for putting up with me when I’m being tough. Thank you for watching over me. Thank you for treating me equally throughout the year and not only on Women’s Day. Thank you for helping me keep my head held high and encouraging me in everything I do so that I can say the following words proudly:
I am a woman. And I am not ashamed.
I am proud to be a woman.
Picture Courtesy: acumen.org