What are you staring at ? The question must have run through your mind every single time someone gave you a hard glare, especially the opposite sex. Being a girl it is really displeasing rather unsettling when men look at you as if you were an item on display or more of a dish served at a buffet.
A mere walk on the road, whilst carrying out daily chores, women find themselves delimited by this tainted vibe, teasing, passing lewd comments touching, either directly or indirectly by rubbing, leaning or dashing against the body. Public places such as bus-stops, railway stations or general’ railway compartments and crowded buses unveil awful experiences and unpleasant memories. Even the temple premises aren’t spared and people right from caretakers to devotees do not miss a chance on ‘taking a feel’.
The women folk have been subject to this spiteful treatment from a long time. And the days today have turned from bad to worst. The increased number of crimes against women stands as a testimony to the horrible situation. The famous Bollywood concept of “char diwar ki surakhsha” doesn’t hold much ground these days. Some of these incidents are happening inside closed doors.
With so much turmoil around, the conditions seem grim for women. But there is a way out. Many would suggest precautionary steps that could be taken to avoid such incidents, steps majorly advocated yet again by the so called superior race. Some of which would be ‘avoiding certain places, wrapping things before dark and get home, company of male counterparts as much as possible, and the most favoured ignore and move ahead.’ And as if this is not enough, after such incidents occur the fault entirely falls on the victim, accusing her of being too bold in the way she dresses and behaves which invites trouble.
So is there really a way out?
Yes, and surprisingly it lies within us. The feeling of total freedom should arise from inside us. As long as we hold the fear that we are a weaker helpless section of the society the conditions would never change. The constitution bestows equality; law gives us an equal right, spiritual texts treat us not just equal but at times above the other, then its time we take this equality to not just our heads but to our hearts. Hearts, yes because we think from our hearts, the kinder humble selfless souls.
Let there be no more Sitas’ and/or Savitris for that matter. Let our children know that both men and women were born to lead a life of respect and love equally. Let the next generation be molded into a mindset, that every girl, woman is no item on display; she is a living breathing human just like them.
I shall wrap up by saying ‘The best thing to do is STARE back it in the face. We have to face our fears and plow through.
An Environment Science postgraduate and working in the field of wildlife conservation for over 4 years. Likes to write and is a voracious reader as well. Strongly believes in ‘Equality Above All’..