It has been like what, a month since the Delhi gang rape incident and less than 2 weeks since the victim passed away? The pain, tears and anger that we felt has started simmering down already like it always does after every such incident. Not for the family and friends of course, who are permanently traumatized. But what do we care; it didn’t happen to us or our surroundings. We did our part by signing a few petitions, posting messages on Facebook, walking procession and lighting lamps, what more? We honestly condemn the perverted monsters and wish we could stone them to death but for how long? Until the next woman, whom we assume is someone we will never know is raped? We are upset, we are scared and that doesn’t change anything. What we see out there are horrific results. What we fail to see are the tiny causative seeds of inequality that we sow in the minds of our children, which by the way we colorfully label as Indian culture and tradition. Shame shame on all of us!
Backward notions do not belong to the older generations alone. I recall a well-educated, co-aged, female ex-colleague of mine, who by the way has a son and daughter, using phrases like “…that too for a girl”, “…at least if it were a boy”, unconsciously divulging her gender biases that has been thought to her by her parents, who were thought by their parents and so on. A flirting boy is a romantic hero but a flirting girl is a slut. Inequality starts right at home, only to manifest itself most sickeningly in someplace else like it did in our capital city.
The victim in question is a well-read physiotherapy student from a modest background. We are all deeply upset for her. Had it been an exotic dancer in a pub or way-side prostitute, we wouldn’t have so much as lifted a finger because she, according to the society deserves it for her doing. What the hell! Whatever a person does or does not, a life is a life, rape is a rape and crime is a crime. A woman’s vagarious moral ethics is her personal preference. How can that give men the license to abuse her? Who gave them that? We, our society did. Out there, among the men who wail for the plight of our Delhi victim, there are people who eve-tease and blame it on the women’s clothing or parents’ raising. That is what we have been doing and will continue to be doing, finding blame for woman and excuses for a man. Westerners, men and women alike sun-bathe together in bikinis. Don’t those guys have hormones at all? Yet, here in India, our women are exploited for being responsible for hormonal plunges in men, which would have otherwise been helped by porn littered all around us.
When I heard the news about the victim passing away, I was secretly and silently glad for her. Yes, death has thankfully put an end to her trauma. Had she won her bold fight for life, the life that she might have had to endure would have been far more painful than the rape itself. Not just because of her physical or psychological trauma alone, you know what I mean. In the eyes of the society, which includes you and me, she would have forever been a victim, not an individual or a person but a pathetic poor victim, scaring her for eternity for no fault of hers. Death has elevated her moral stature to godliness and for that I am secretly and silently glad for her.
By taking my vent on my blog post, I am just adding on to the pyre that has started burning out already. As an individual, to deeply apologize for a society that has produced such vile men who took her dignity and life and to pay my tribute for her bold fight, here is my pledge.
- I will raise my son, teaching him to respect every individual alike, man or woman, master or maid, encapsulating him from society’s unwarranted prejudices.
- I’ll help him ace in domestic duties as much as he does in his education and profession, just to enforce that no responsibility is beneath another and no role is gender specific, except child-birth.
- If destiny allows it, I’ll give him a baby sister to play and be friends with to understand that every baby girl out there is as funny as naughty as playful, has as much dreams and desires as his baby sister.
- I’ll teach him to appreciate the confidence of a lady fighting through her distress more than the eye-batting damsel in distress.
- I’ll teach him to admire the values of a woman’s heart and her choices more than the voluptuousness of her bosom.
- I’ll allow him to flirt, kiss or marry a lady of his choice (which I hope would be a lady with substance), only if the feeling is mutual and consensus between him and the lady.
- I’ll slap him, no matter how old, if he so much as even thinks of a dowry.
- I’ll teach him to outgrow being a mommy boy and to never compare his mom and wife. We are two different entities and I’ll teach him to treat us thus.
- I will have no expectation whatsoever from my daughter-in-law, except to live a happy and contented life with my son in their own private world, the way those two want to, while I continue to happily live my life with my darling husband the way we dream to.
The day I succeed raising my son, may not be as a hero who fights with vagabonds for a woman but as a gentleman who sees her and treats her as his own self, like his dad is to me, I will be a proud mother. That fine glorious day, I would have lived up to my pledge.