Staggering through several days and nights in a career spanning two years in the IT industry and meeting numerous ladies while traveling new places, somewhere down the line, I figured out that we have to start off by doing a reality check and accepting certain basic truths of our life.
Being a female we are habitual of compromising on a lot of things.
Being a girl, sometimes we are forced to play indoor games.
Being a housewife and a good mother we are dependent upon our spouses for financial help.
Being a working mother, the guilt that is a constant companion in whatever you do, the balance you try to find between a cantankerous and ill child and an important presentation, and the fact that, however much you try, you just can’t be a super woman.
We see it as part and parcel of our life. Lets put all these things aside and talk about other important things of women’s daily life that become as important as drinking water to them. That is creating safety for themselves.
Women enumerated a variety of strategies to create safety in a context where institutional structures often fail them: women hold on to their mobile phones, sometimes talk or pretend to talk all the way home, carry safety pins, pepper spray, knuckle-dusters, beg escorts, travel in groups etc. Even the society has imposed some safety instructions like how to behave in a train/bus/autorickshaw/taxi, how to act when a handyman is doing repairs at your home and what to wear and what not.
The survivor of the Uber taxi assault also did what she could to ensure safety for herself. She used an app-based service that promised safety, which should have been tracked by global positioning system. That should have been secure.
Pinnacle of altruism
Once a girl explained her life story to me and asked a very diplomatic question. I would like to share the story hiding her identity. She told about her childhood when she was 4-5 years old, and her neighbor who was a very good family friend of her’s, sexually assaulted her when she was alone at home. At that time she couldn’t react. Now as she has grown up, she wants to talk about this. But she is in a dilemma because her neighbor is married and has a baby. Why should his family face shame for his misdemeanor?
I was shocked. She still has humanity and does not want to ruin his and his family’s life. I kept thinking for a long time why she has taken such a decision. Women being more empathic, find it easier to see the world through the eyes of other people, just like this great friend of mine.
Do they deserve humanity?
She is not the only one, according to one report, “between 62 to 84 percent of survivors knew their attacker”, and “42 percent of rape survivors told no one about the rape”.
But the one question I wanted to ask about the physiotherapy student who was raped on a bus in New Delhi last December. She died as the result of injuries sustained by being penetrated with an iron rod. Do the rapists deserve any humanity?
A lot of such incidents, which happen in the rural areas, are not even in the police files, as the victim’s family does not want to get a bad name in the society they live in. Worse though is the continued portrayal of the rape victim as fallen, devastated, hopeless and isolated. The society leaves the victim with no other choice than to commit suicide – to prevent further shame on her family. It won’t be surprising if such victims commit suicide and nobody would even know the reason behind this decision by them. Do the perpetrators realise these consequences, when they are lost in a moment of lust?
After hearing about such cases, every parent would think thousand times to let their daughter relocate for the purpose of higher education or job to a place unknown to them. One of my friends got a great job offer from a good company in Noida after six months of continuous struggle. To her unfortunate, Nirbhaya case happened during the same time and her family didn’t let her go to join the company of her dreams. Why a girl has to sacrifice on her dreams and pay such a huge cost for a crime that she didn’t commit?
Don’t be hesitant
There is no depth to the sense of outrage when one reads reports of rape and murder of young girls by murderous gangs who then proceed to kill their victim. Everybody gets angry but anger runs out soon. It can’t change what torture victim has gone through physically and mentally until and unless victim herself talk about it and let the rapist suffer. Can’t we turn off our sympathy towards those people, who don’t even deserve to be called an animal and let them suffer for their wrongdoings. Its not time to be a mousy. Rapists might be ruining a lot more other innocent lives and it could be your own friend, sister, mother, daughter or even grandmother. Your family loves you and supports you in every condition. Its you who can save other’s life and lead a reform for the society towards safer future. It can give women the potential/freedom to walk freely on the roads to their dreams in future.