The women of the Indian capital went on a ‘Besharmi Morcha’ a la ‘Slut walk’ of the western countries to protest against the popular belief that provocatively dressed women invite molestation and rape.
It is a trifle ironical to note that such rallies are taking place during the year we have officially celebrated the centenary year of Woman’s day! It is unfortunate that women have to pay a heavy price for they are categorically held responsible for the failings of weak minded men. Their crime —they exude their charm without any specific agenda.
It is true that we live in a diabolic world where life is not fair and rules and regulations are not uniform or valid across the globe. It is plain that women have been at the receiving end of the whims and fancies and resultant injustice from times immemorial. For instance, the Yemen beach ball players at the Asian games attributed their failure to win the game to the scantily clad cheer leaders who distracted them no end.
There was a lot of brouhaha when a qualified, pretty woman Debrahlee Loranzana was forced to leave a job in Citibank because “her male bosses could not handle her libidos”.
It was around this time a young attractive lecturer in Bangalore was sacked from her job because the management thought she was a distraction to the students. Then there are other bits of disturbing news that do not necessarily involve working woman. The girl next door or even the women in one’s family could be bearing the brunt of grazing eyes, groping hands, or menial instinct of men.
Only last year, two Afghan teenagers who ran away from marriage were flogged publicly and were issued divorce by the religious authority because they dared to essay an escape to their freedom.
Surprisingly in this case, the young married girls were asked to heave up their heavy shawls, which protected them from Afghan cold so that the whiplashes could hurt them effectively.
This demoniac heartless scene was not only captured on camera but was widely circulated across the world by the media. While the incident itself talks of great horror, one cannot but note the interesting fact that the girls were asked to shed the protective clothing because the punishers were keen on the fact that the girls should feel the pain despite the diktats of their traditional dress code which is fastidious about modesty.
These instances placed far apart in time, mind set, culture and geography but all of them point out but to one feature. The women involved in all the cases have little or no choice in choosing the clothes they wear or any other aspect of their lives.
Several generations of organisations have worked on the subject, apparently without any success. Otherwise women worldwide will not be thinking up of such rallies to right a wrong done to them.
The woman should be respected as an individual who has the right to live with dignity and basic human liberty. If the men in the world think that they cannot handle the libido or the ego of the woman they should find pragmatic solutions to overcome their drawback rather than heap punitive measures on the fairer sex. If we decide to ignore the message of the feminine world even now, we must be prepared to witness more female foeticides, honour killings, and unwarranted suicides till we reach a lopsided ratio that will spell doom to mankind.
It is interesting to note that a medical term like TWIST sums up the situation. TWIST happens to be an abbreviation for Time Without Symptoms or Toxicity, which happens to be the safe period for people under treatment. Now the TWIST period for mankind with reference to atrocities on women has flit by. It is said that it is darkest before dawn; let us hope the current darkness is the harbinger of light.